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The Indigo Project: An example of helping families build resistence

Friday, 10 December 2010


Community Links and Network (CLAN) in Western Australia (WA) is a non-government organisation which focuses on harnessing and developing the existing competencies and skills of an individual rather than focusing on the deficits. In 2008 CLAN partnered with the Lifespan Resiliency Research Group at Edith Cowan University to investigate aspects of the Indigo Project. Indigo is a free service supporting friends, families and children who may be affected by the diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness of a family member or close friend. Support is provided through information sessions, workshops, one-to-one support, counselling, and in home support services, delivering new ways to help families build resilience. Of those involved15 indigo recipients participated in semi-structured interviews to identify protective factors and behaviours of individuals who have received support. Data were thematically analysed. In addition each participant completed the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS; Zimet et al., 1988) as well as the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA; Friborg et al., 2003). The mean score for the MSPSS was 62.27 (SD=14.74) and for the RSA was 4.90 (SD=0.86). The analysis revealed themes which provided information of the positive and negative personal and family factors that impacted on their capacity to successfully adapt to their circumstances. The indigo project appears to have provided opportunities to enhance resilience in the clients. This paper will report on the quantitative and qualitative research with Indigo project clients. This presentation will discuss the challenges faced by these clients and how they can be helped to be resilient in the face of major family difficulties. The results will assist policy makers and program developers to understand how individuals faced with adversity can adapt and survive.

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