Journal Article

Leisure as a context for active living, recovery, health and life quality for persons with mental illness in a global context

Yoshitaka Iwasaki, Catherine P. Coyle and John W. Shank

in Health Promotion International

Volume 25, issue 4, pages 483-494
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daq037
Leisure as a context for active living, recovery, health and life quality for persons with mental illness in a global context

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SUMMARY

Globally, the mental health system is being transformed into a strengths-based, recovery-oriented system of care, to which the concept of active living is central. Based on an integrative review of the literature, this paper presents a heuristic conceptual framework of the potential contribution that enjoyable and meaningful leisure experiences can have in active living, recovery, health and life quality among persons with mental illness. This framework is holistic and reflects the humanistic approach to mental illness endorsed by the United Nations and the World Health Organization. It also includes ecological factors such as health care systems and environmental factors as well as cultural influences that can facilitate and/or hamper recovery, active living and health/life quality. Unique to this framework is our conceptualization of active living from a broad-based and meaning-oriented perspective rather than the traditional, narrower conceptualization which focuses on physical activity and exercise. Conceptualizing active living in this manner suggests a unique and culturally sensitive potential for leisure experiences to contribute to recovery, health and life quality. In particular, this paper highlights the potential of leisure engagements as a positive, strengths-based and potentially cost-effective means for helping people better deal with the challenges of living with mental illness.

Keywords: culture; recreation; mental health; quality of life

Journal Article.  6536 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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