While improving the psychological health and well-being of individuals with serious mental illness can help reduce emotional distress and increase resilience, not enough is known about the well-being of incarcerated individuals with mental illness. Using the Schwartz Outcome Scale-10, the authors examined changes in subjective well-being and its association with other clinical symptoms and personality features in 43 mentally ill inmates in a large jail. All participants demonstrated significant improvement in general psychopathology and negative emotions. For well-being, however, different trajectories were associated with high versus low baseline ratings. Furthermore, those in the high well-being group were more likely to show features of aggression, dominance, hostility, mania, and more positive affect. These findings suggest that the level of well-being among inmates with serious mental illness may be an early indicator of personality features, clinical changes, and resilience, which is essential knowledge required when completing effective treatment planning.
© The Author(s) 2015.