Supporting recovery from hoarding and squalor: Insights from a community case study

Toby Raeburn, Catherine HUNGERFORD, Phil Escott, Michelle Cleary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Hoarding and squalor are more common among people with chronic mental disorders and can compromise a person's health and safety, be a public health issue and present substantial challenges to family, carers, social service agencies and clinical mental health services. This paper provides a case study outlining the complex challenges experienced by a person exhibiting hoarding and squalor behaviours, and explores the role of a mental health nurse in supporting the person towards recovery. The journey towards mental health recovery for a person with hoarding and squalor behaviours is multidynamic and requires more than clinical expertise or discreet psychotherapeutic modalities. People with hoarding behaviours acquire a large number of possessions that are often of limited or no monetary value and which they are unable or unwilling to discard. Such behaviours can substantially impair a person's ability to attend to their normal daily activities, cause substantial distress and lead to squalid living conditions. Living in squalor can compromise a person's health and safety, be a public health issue and present substantial challenges to family, carers, social service agencies and clinical mental health services. Hoarding and squalor behaviours are more common among people with co-morbid organic and mental illness, such as developmental delay, schizophrenia, alcohol dependence and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder. This paper provides a narrative that explores the role of one Australian mental health nurse practitioner in the recovery of a person with hoarding behaviours.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-639
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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