Flourishing in the face of mental illness: A heuristic examination of the contribution of leisure to creating a meaningful life
Cripps Torok, Lauren C.
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The purpose of this research was to examine the ways in which individuals with mental illness create a life of purpose, satisfaction and meaning. The data supported the identification of four common themes: (1) the power of leisure in activation, (2) the power of leisure in resiliency, (3) the power of leisure in identity and (4) the power of leisure in reducing struggle. Through an exploration of the experience of having a mental illness, this project supports that leisure provides therapeutic benefits that transcend through negative life events. In addition, this project highlights the individual nature of recovery as a process of self-discovery. Through the creation of a visual model, this project provides a benchmark for how a small group of individuals have experienced living well with mental illness. As such, this work brings new thought to the growing body of mental health and leisure studies literature.