Research has identified certain core abilities that enable people with mental illness to self-manage their condition. This includes the ability of individuals to understand information about their health condition. Studies have shown that providing illness-related information is a fundamental starting point for developing other self-management abilities; but little research has been done on the needs of people in the early stages of illness who are entering the mental health system for the first time. Eric Macnaughton is studying how people newly diagnosed with serious forms of mental illness can learn to successfully live with their conditions. Given the traumatic and confusing nature of a first experience with mental illness, Eric is investigating the idea that stories about people who have successfully coped with their mental illness could help motivate newly diagnosed people to self-manage their condition. The research could contribute to design of programs and tools that help build or strengthen self-management skills.