Taking the plunge: Service users´ experiences of hope within the mental health and substance use services.
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Faculty of Psychology 
Hope is central to recovery in a broad range of health conditions, including those within the mental health and substance use field, yet its implications for research and practice has gained limited attention. The aim of this study is to explore how hope is experienced from a first-person perspective of people with co-occurring mental health and substance use problems, and what may inspire the experience of hope. Data were collected through qualitative in-depth interviews with 9 service users. Inclusion criteria were experiences of co‑Click to deleteoccurring mental health and substance use problems, and having received services related to these challenges in a Norwegian municipality setting. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using thematic analysis. An initial theme encapsulates experiences of hope itself, and the following themes revolve around what participants perceived as hope inspiring. Hope was experienced in terms of aspirations to various changes, often exemplified by what may seem an «ordinary life». Receiving help with practical issues like suitable housing or debt, along with support from trustworthy others, was of great importance in order to experience hope. Trust and confidence both in relation to oneself and others, was pivotal when rebuilding faith in something better for the future.