Mental Health Service Providers' Engagement Experiences of Homeless Individuals
Limited literature exists regarding best engagement practices of mental health service providers in encouraging the homeless individuals to participate in clinical mental health services in New York City. New York City has a population of more than 8.5 million, and in 2017 more than 129,803 homeless individuals slept in shelters. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to gain more insight and knowledge about the best engagement practices and experiences of mental health service providers in encouraging homeless individuals to participate in clinical mental health services. The conceptual framework used to guide this study comes from Kearsley and Shneiderman's engagement theory. The study employed a phenomenological method, utilizing a nonprobability sample design with a purposeful and criterion sample with 12 mental health service providers to reach saturation and to yield insights and in-depth understandings for the questions under research. Data were analyzed and coded to identify categories and themes. Findings from this research highlighted 3 themes based on participant responses: (a) building rapport, (b) medical and mental health, and (c) resistance to change. This study provides insight and understanding of the phenomenon of homelessness and provides information on engaging the homeless and how the participants encouraged homeless individuals to participate in clinical services.