Understanding Lived Mental Health Experience


Essay – Understanding Lived mental health Experience (3,500 words)

Beverley Callard personal experience of her chronic depression

This essay is concerned with your developing awareness and understanding of a person’s lived experience of mental health problems(Beverley Callard) . This can relate to either service-users or carer – please choose one of these only.
Select a media product where a personal account of experiencing mental health problems is being portrayed. This can include media types such as:

• Television documentary
• Newspaper / magazine article
• Internet blog/discussion forum
• Autobiography
• Radio programme

(please note – the product selected should be detailed enough to provide you with sufficient themes to write about – something that a number of magazine articles for example may not do). The product needs to be a factual account and not the work of fiction.


a) With the support of related literature, illustrate and discuss the nature of the personal experience being recounted.

– From your product identify a small number of core themes (essentially what a person is saying about their experience of mental health). The number chosen should enable depth of discussion.

– The resulting discussion will provide examples from your product i.e. quotes which can then be reflected against published literature and other first-person accounts

– You will need to include a good selection of references (recommended no. approx 25-30) taken from a range of source types (avoid overuse of web sites).

b) Implications for practice – discuss the learning taken away from this and how it might influence your subsequent approach to practice.

Basically this part illustrates how your learning about the personal experience of a mental health issue will impact upon your future work in practice.


The weighting in terms of word count could be approximately:

Introduction / part a – 3000 words
Part b /conclusion – 500 words