08 Dec

Image and text by Rick McVicar            

     I recently found out I have a mental health invention to my credit. 

     That is the importance of hope for recovery from mental illness. The invention was made in 1998 when I conducted a hope research study funded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health. 

    I found in my study that there is a correlation between having hope and having an internal locus of control. In other word, as someone with mental illness gains hope, they tend to take more responsibility for their recovery.

   I used two questionnaires with mental health consumers and case managers to find a link between hope and locus of control.

     Locus of control refers to where someone places responsibility for their problems. An external locus of control means that someone blames someone else for their problems. An internal locus of control means someone sees the problem and solution lying within themselves. 

     Someone with an external locus of control depends a lot on chance. Of course, external vs. internal locus of control is a spectrum, with varying amounts of degrees between the two. 

   I discovered the significance of my findings when I began watching videos for peer support training. I hope to take a class in peer support so I am more knowledgeable about helping others who have mental illness.  

     What I am finding in training is that hope is pivotal for recovery. I am also finding a broad body of academic literature on hope and mental illness written in the past five years. When I conducted my study, there was very little written on the subject matter. 

     Currently, I hope that you will be motivated to comment or share this blog entry on social media. Thank you for your support.

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