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Conducting Successful Interviews


Research background information—Know your topic.

Plan your questions ahead of time.

Prepare key “talking” points—specific topical areas you want to be sure to cover during the interview.

Avoid questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”

Word questions as “neutrally” as possible to avoid influencing the answer.

Preparation cont…

Use “who,” “what,” “when,” “where” and “how” questions.

Use “why” questions carefully to avoid putting the interviewee on the defensive.

Choose a setting for the interview that will provide the fewest possible distractions and/or interruptions.

Clarify the length of time agreed upon for the interview.

Be appreciative and respectful of the interviewee. Remember, you are an outsider and a guest.

Getting Started

Explain the overall purpose of your interview:

What you plan to do with the information

How the interviewee will (or won’t) be identified when the information is shared (confidentiality, anonymity)

Obtain permission to take notes or record the interview.

Take a few minutes to get to know the person before asking your prepared questions.

Gather general information about the person’s role, work and/or views related to your topic.

Going Deeper

Use your prepared questions, but be flexible. Think like a detective. Be ready to explore new information you receive from the interviewee.

If appropriate, ask the interviewee to share examples from his or her experiences to illustrate key points.

Share information you have gathered and allow the interviewee to validate (or invalidate) that information.

Interview Tips

Use active listening:

Concentrate on what the person is saying.

Listen for meaning as well as words.

Avoid formulating your next question while the person is still talking.

Avoid predicting how the person will answer.

Lean towards the person.

Encourage the person to continue talking with brief comments such as “go on,” “uh-huh,” or “then?”

Interview Tips cont…

Brief periods of silence may be effective in drawing out additional, meaningful information.

Silence gives the respondent time to think and organize his/her thoughts without interruption.

Avoid interrupting the interviewee or finishing his/her sentences.

Interview Tips cont…

Ask a key question several ways, if appropriate, to get at the topic from different angles.

Notice how the interviewee shares information. Is he eager, hesitant, open, or guarded about sharing information? What does her body language tell you?

Ask for clarification by using phr


Vulnerable Population






The vulnerable population selected is young adults living with mental illness. I plan to contact the South African Federation for Mental health agency in order to know more about the state f mental health among young adults.

1. Family conflicts: Young adults living with mental illness are at risk of experiencing family conflicts. Relationships can be damaged due to stress depression, and anxiety leading to misunderstandings or conflicts (Shanbehzadeh et al., 2021).

2. Social isolation: Young adults living with mental illness are at risk of social isolation. Some communities stigmatize mental health problems (Shanbehzadeh et al., 2021). This may cause individuals to be isolated from society.

3. Relationship difficulties: Young adults with mental illness may experience relationship difficulties (Shanbehzadeh et al., 2021). An individual with mental illness may find it difficult to form or sustain new relationships.

4. Drug abuse: individuals with mental illness are at risk of resorting to drug abuse (Kavoor, 2020). Such individuals may turn to drug abuse to distract themselves or as an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of the condition.

5. Miss work: Young adults with mental illness are at increased risk of missing work. This may create problems at work leading to the loss of jobs (Kavoor, 2020).

6. Miss school: Young adults with mental illness are at risk of missing school (Kavoor, 2020). This may cause them to lag behind in school work.

7. Financial problems: Young adults with mental illness are at an increased risk of experiencing financial problems. Mental illness negatively impacts the productivity of individuals and their ability to sustain jobs which may cause an individual to lose their income (Kavoor, 2020).

8. Homelessness: Individuals with mental illness are at risk of financial problems, losing their job, family conflicts, and relationship difficulties (Shanbehzadeh et al., 2021). All the above are risk factors for homelessness.

9. Unhappiness: Individuals with mental illness are less happy. Factors such as conduct problems, depression, anxiety, and family conflict make it difficult for such people to be happy (Shanbehzadeh et al., 2021).

10. Self-harm: individuals with mental illness are at an increased risk of self-harm (Shanbehzadeh et al., 2021). Mental illness may drive one to experience suicidal thoughts or inflict harm on themselves.

Questions for a professional

1. What is your name?

2. Can you tell us about your professional background?

3. Can you tell us about the history of the South African Federation for Mental health agency?

4. Can you tell us about the mission and vision South African federation for Mental health a Open Access

ISSN: (Online) 2223-6279, (Print) 0379-8577

Page 1 of 7 Original Research

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to read online.

Nok’khanya F. Hadebe1
Tendani S. Ramukumba1

1Adelaide Tambo School of
Nursing Science, Faculty of
Science, Tshwane University
of Technology, Pretoria,
South Africa

Corresponding author:
Nok’khanya Hadebe,
[email protected]

Received: 05 June 2019
Accepted: 28 Oct. 2020
Published: 18 Dec. 2020

How to cite this article:
Hadebe, N.F. &
Ramukumba, T.S., 2020,
‘Resilience and social support
of young adults living with
mental illness in the city of
Tshwane, Gauteng
province, South Africa’,
Curationis 43(1), a2084.

© 2020. The Authors.
Licensee: AOSIS. This work
is licensed under the
Creative Commons
Attribution License.

Introduction and background
Mental illnesses rank third in their contribution to the burden of disease in South Africa, and
in 2012, approximately one in six South Africans experienced a common mental illness such as
depression, anxiety or substance use illness (Lund et al. 2012:402). Globally, 264 million
people suffer from depression, 50 million suffer from dementia, 45 million suffer from bipolar
and 20 million suffer from schizophrenia and psychosis (World Health Organization [WHO]
2019). Mental illnesses are characterised by a clinically significant disturbance in cognition,
emotion regulation or behaviour that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological or
developmental processes underlying mental functioning (Aftab 2016:11). Mental health, on
the contrary, is a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own
potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and
is able to contribute to her or his community (WHO 2014).

Mental illnesses are often accompanied by discrimination. Young adults who already
experience prejudice and discrimination, in particular, suffer doubly when faced with the
burdens of mental illnesses (Collins et al. 2012:2). They face demands, expectations and
challenges that carry larger risks than those experienced by their peers some generations
ago (Rowling 2006:101). Poor mental health is related to other health and development
concerns in young people, such as lower educational achievements, substance abuse, violence,
and poor reproductive and sexual health (Sharan & Sagar 2007). Although they are often
first detected later in life, several mental illnesses have their onset at ages 14–35 years
(WHO 2001). This is the population with the highest prevalen
ISSN: 0963-8237 (print), 1360-0567 (electronic)

J Ment Health, 2019; 28(3): 304–311
� 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2018.1487537


Secrecy versus disclosure of mental illness among adolescents: II. The
perspective of relevant stakeholders

Nadine Mulfinger1, Nicolas Rüsch1, Philipp Bayha1, Sabine Müller2, Isabel Böge3, Vehbi Sakar4, and Silvia Krumm1

1Department of Psychiatry II, Ulm University and BKH Günzburg, Ulm, Germany, 2Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University

Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany,

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Centre for Psychiatry Ravensburg Weissenau, Ravensburg, Germany,
4Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Josefinum, Augsburg, Germany


Background: The burden of mental illness (MI) is exacerbated when adolescents with MI are
confronted with stigma and social exclusion. Adolescents face the difficult decision whether or
not to disclose their MI. Focus groups (FGs) were conducted with parents of adolescents with
MI as well as with teachers, mental health professionals (MHPs) and adolescents without MI.
Aim: To collect information from relevant stakeholders on secrecy versus disclosure of MI
among adolescents.
Methods: Thirteen FG sessions with 87 participants were recorded, transcribed and analyzed
using qualitative content analysis to identify major themes.
Results: Selective disclosure and social media as a potential way of disclosure emerged as
dominant themes. Negative aspects of disclosure on social media were discussed. Stigma and
labeling were seen as disadvantages of disclosure. Social support was perceived as one
advantage of disclosure. Distinctive features of adolescence, such as self-discovery, appeared as
specific problems. Parents, teachers, MHPs and adolescents without MI were considered
important for disclosure. Participants discussed how to help adolescents with their dilemma
between disclosure and secrecy.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that disclosure decisions are personal and influenced by the
individual’s environment. Implications for interventions that aim to support adolescents with MI
in this regard are discussed.


Mental illness, mental health condition,
adolescents, stakeholders, disclosure, focus


Received 7 June 2017
Revised 22 January 2018
Accepted 16 April 2018
Published online 15 November 2018


Youth with mental illness (MI) often anticipate or experience

stigma. As MIs are often stigmatized but concealable

conditions, adolescents with MI can decide whether or not

to disclose their MI. Although coming out can result in further

discrimination, disclosure can challenge stigma and have a

positive impa