What is it about?

This review examines the literature on sex and relationship issues in the context of seri- ous and persistent mental health problems. It identifies gaps in the research and high- lights key issues needing further investigation.

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Why is it important?

More attention has been paid to detailed and holistic assessments of the needs of all individuals suffering from severe and enduring mental illnesses. Priorities include housing, occupation, medical and psychiatric care, socialization and risk assessment. The intimate sexual and interpersonal needs of affected individuals have only recently emerged as a legitimate concern for carers.


If mental health professionals are to be truly responsive to the needs of people with serious and persistent mental health problems and their carers, they have an obligation to ask about sexual and relationship issues. They need to enquire about subjective experiences and a person’s hopes, feelings, beliefs and aspirations regarding sexual and relationship fulfilment.

Dr Edward McCann
City, University of London

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Exploring sexual and relationship possibilities for people with psychosis - a review of the literature, Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, December 2003, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2850.2003.00635.x.
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