Mothers with mental illness experiencing homelessness: A critical analysis
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
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The experiences of homeless mothers with mental illness were examined from the critical perspective of feminist intersectionality. The purpose of this study was to unveil experiences of oppression and resistance in the lives of homeless mothers with mental illness, while learning from them what is conducive to their health. A qualitative secondary analysis was done using focus group transcripts from a study examining issues related to diversity and homelessness for psychiatric survivors and a study on mental health and housing. A purposive sample of 7 focus groups comprised of 67 participants was used for this study. Findings revealed three overarching themes: (1) discrimination based on intersecting social identities; (2) being stuck: the cycle of oppression; and (3) we're not giving up: resistance through perseverance. The contextual influences of mothering while homeless with a mental illness were emphasized in the results. The findings illuminate the need for increased on ongoing advocacy at individual and structural levels.