Experiences of being cared-for: the perspective of an expert-by-experience in mental health

Fox, Joanna R. (2022) Experiences of being cared-for: the perspective of an expert-by-experience in mental health. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13. p. 824542. ISSN 1664-0640

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.824542

Abstract

It is difficult to understand what it feels like for people with mental ill-health to be cared-for and supported by family members; this experience is often little-explored. Narratives about caring have been increasingly written alongside first-person accounts of recovery, however, there is a dearth of literature written to gain the perspective of being cared-for because of mental distress. Thus, using autoethnography, I present three critical incidents occurring at different points in my recovery to enable exploration of experiences of being cared-for. Firstly, a critical incident at the point of acute unwellness is introduced, secondly an incident during a consultation with a health professional is highlighted, and finally a moment of transition when embarking on an independent life with my husband-to-be is described. I use autoethnography to connect “the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social, and political”. I consider how the identity of a carer is continually negotiated in a relationship with the service user in both the “private” and the “public” worlds during recovery. I reflect on how professionals can support both service users and carers in a triangle of care, by providing information and support, alongside promoting the development of independence and agency for the service user whilst in the caring relationship. Finally, I introduce a service model which promotes a family network approach to empower the service user, and highlight training programs on recovery that enable carers. I conclude by suggesting the potential of both approaches to support carers to promote the recovery of the service user.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: caregivers, carers, mental distress, autoethnography, expertise-by-experience
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2022 15:10
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 16:21
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/707329

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