Experiences of adults with psychiatric disabilities participating in an activity programme at a psychosocial rehabilitation centre in the Western Cape

Matumo Ramafikeng, Lisa Beukes, Aneeqa Hassan, Tara Kohler, Tayla Leigh Mouton, Saadiqah Petersen


Introduction: Adults with psychiatric disabilities require continued community-based care to support their recovery and community
reintegration. Community-based mental health services such as psychosocial rehabilitation day centres and group homes were initiated
to support community reintegration of these adults. However, these services are limited and opportunities for adults with psychiatric
disabilities to engage in meaningful occupations that promote occupational well-being are scarce, particularly in South Africa. In addition,
literature exploring the experiences of adults with psychiatric disabilities using these services, is limited. The aim of the study was to
describe the adults with psychiatric disabilities’ experiences of participating in an activity programme at a psychosocial rehabilitation
day centre.
Method: A descriptive qualitative design was adopted, and eight participants were recruited through purposive sampling. Data were
collected through observations and focus group discussions and analysed using thematic analysis.
Findings: Two themes emerged: What’s nice about the activities that we do do…is it takes you out your head for a while and If you
don’t do anything [...] your brain goes that way a bit. The activities were valued as they offered opportunities for improved socialisation
and enabled participants to meet various occupational needs.
Conclusion: Adults with psychiatric disabilities derived meaning, purpose and improved occupational well-being from participating
in the activity programme. There is a need for more community-based mental health services to support the recovery of adults with
psychiatric disabilities, thereby improving their quality of life within their communities.

Key words: psychiatric disability; occupational well-being; psychosocial rehabilitation day centre; community mental health services

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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