- Readers Theatre Dramatic Presentation:
- The presentation allows people directly affected by housing issues to speak about their experiences in their own words.
- >>READ MORE
- Photo Component:
- Members of the group used disposable cameras to photograph their homes and to express visually what their homes mean to them.
- >>READ MORE
- Documentary Film:
- Research team members describe their experiences with schizophrenia, their involvement in a support group for people with schizophrenia, and their involvement in the research project.
- >> READ MORE
The struggle for housing stability is among the many challenges faced by people with schizophrenia. That struggle was the focus of a recent SSHRC-funded participatory action research project under the direction of Barbara Schneider, PhD, Faculty of Communication and Culture, University of Calgary.
Participatory research involves members of a community group in meaningful participation in all stages of the research process, including developing the research question, gathering the data, analyzing the data, and disseminating and using the results.
This project involved as co-researchers nine members of the Peer Support Unsung Heroes Program at the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta, Calgary Chapter, all of whom have schizophrenia and have experienced housing instability. The members of this group initiated the research, chose the topic, and, under the guidance of Dr. Schneider, conducted interviews and focus groups with 30 people who have schizophrenia and have experienced homelessness or housing instability. (for more info on exactly what we did link to dilemmas paper)
The main theme arising from this research is the tension between care and control in the relationship between people with psychiatric disabilities and housing and medical service providers. People with psychiatric disabilities want, need, and appreciate the help and care they receive from family members, mental health professionals, government agencies, and housing and other service providers. But to receive that care, they must submit themselves to a variety of forms of what they regard as intrusive surveillance and coercive control over many (perhaps all) aspects of their lives. If they are not willing to do this, they run the risk that care --including housing -- will be withheld. The tension between care and control creates dilemmas for people with psychiatric disabilities that they must negotiate in all their interactions with housing service providers.