Participant not patient- employing a person-centred approach to researching the use of lived experience in mental health peer support
Stirrup, V. 2015. Participant not patient- employing a person-centred approach to researching the use of lived experience in mental health peer support.
Historically, recovery amongst adults with serious mental health issues has been characterised by an emphasis on professional expertise (Nelson et al, 2001). The sharing of lived experience of mental distress through peer support relationships is based on mutuality (Mead, 2003) and has been recognised as promoting hope and supporting recovery (Repper, 2013). Person-centred approaches towards introducing mental health peer support into NHS service provision have prioritised relationships and engagement (Sunderland et al, 2013), in turn contesting the conscious or unconscious reinforcement of the service user as passive patient (Slay and Stephens, 2013).
How then should engagement be viewed when researching peer support in the mental health service context? With whom should research engage and how? What is the role of the researcher?
This paper reflects upon the experience of employing a person-centred approach to research to explore the use of lived experience within mental health peer support. Informed by my role as Peer Support Project Development Officer in an NHS Foundation Trust it will reflect on how I have sought to engage my research with service users and the peer support community as part of the research process. Emphasising how the researcher, through engagement with the values of peer support, the NHS service context, and building relationships with service users, can exceed expectation to simply involve service users within research design (Health Research Authority 2014). Into practice that sees engagement as a necessary and essential condition of meaningful research within this field.
|Conference||Canterbury Christ Church University Postgraduate Research Association Annual Conference|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||08 Nov 2018|
|Completed||11 Mar 2015|
|Accepted||11 Mar 2015|
|Accepted author manuscript|
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