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What can we learn from service user memoirs? Information and service user experience

  • Neil Armstrong (a1)
Summary

Service user memoirs are frequently reviewed in The Psychiatrist and other related journals. Some academic publications include first-hand accounts of mental ill health, and there is a lively market for autobiographical books and articles about mental illness. But clinicians already have extensive contact with service users and it might seem unlikely that they have much to gain from reading memoirs. In this article I suggest that the greater depth of reflection in published memoirs means clinicians do in fact have something to learn. I illustrate my argument by showing how memoirs cast a light on the world of information and conclude by suggesting reasons why memoirs raise issues that are of increasing clinical importance.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Neil Armstrong (neil.armstrong@psych.ox.ac.uk)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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10 Wurtzel, E. Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America. Quartet, 1996.
11 Greenberg, M. Hurry Down Sunshine. Bloomsbury, 2009.
12 Cockburn, P, Cockburn, H. Henry's Demons: Living With Schizophrenia, A Father and Son's Story. Simon & Schuster, 2011.
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15 Burke, RD. When the Music's Over: My Journey into Schizophrenia. Basic Books, 1995.
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17 Newman, D. Talking With Doctors. Analytic Press, 2006.
18 Colom, F. Keeping therapies simple: psychoeducation in the prevention of relapse in affective disorders. Br J Psychiatry 2011; 198: 338–40.
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20 Powell, J, Clarke, A. Information in mental health: qualitative study of mental health service users. Health Expect 2006; 4: 359–65.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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What can we learn from service user memoirs? Information and service user experience

  • Neil Armstrong (a1)
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