Family Support Groups for family members of mentally ill offenders: a pilot study [2018]

To date, there is a lack of family interventions for family members of persons with a mental illness who offended (PMIO). With the aim of addressing this issue, a Family Support Group (FSG) has been developed. The current pilot study investigated the impact of two pilot FSGs for family members of PMIO in relation to quality of life, burden, coping strategies, and resilience. Family members completed several questionnaires (i.e. WHOQOL-BREF, ZBI-22, CERQ, RS-nl) both before and after the group intervention. A total of 20 family members participated in both FSGs. The results indicated that participants experienced less self-blame, a decrease in loss of control over their lives, and improved emotional well-being. The findings showed that attending an FSG can be empowering for family members as it offers support in the management of emotional experiences and coping strategies.

Sara Rowaert, Stijn Vandevelde, Kurt Audenaert & Gilbert Lemmens

The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, 13 Aug 2018