Personal well-being networks, social capital and severe mental illness: exploratory study

Daryl Sweet, Richard Byng, Martin Webber, Doyo Gragn Enki, Ian Porter, John Larsen, Peter Huxley, Vanessa Pinfold

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12 Citations (Scopus)
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Connectedness is a central dimension of personal recovery from severe mental illness (SMI). Research reports that people with SMI have lower social capital and poorer-quality social networks compared to the general population.


To identify personal well-being network (PWN) types and explore additional insights from mapping connections to places and activities alongside social ties.


We carried out 150 interviews with individuals with SMI and mapped social ties, places and activities and their impact on well-being. PWN types were developed using social network analysis and hierarchical k-means clustering of this data.


Three PWN types were identified: formal and sparse; family and stable; and diverse and active. Well-being and social capital varied within and among types. Place and activity data indicated important contextual differences within social connections that were not found by mapping social networks alone.


Place locations and meaningful activities are important aspects of people's social worlds. Mapped alongside social networks, PWNs have important implications for person-centred recovery approaches through providing a broader understanding of individual's lives and resources.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalThe British Journal of Psychiatry
Early online dateOct 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - Oct 2017


  • mental health
  • Psychosis
  • Social Networks
  • Recovery
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar Disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)

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