Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Link: Mental Illness Can Be An Advantage, in a sense, with caveats

I've just come across this article from about 3 and a half years ago:
It has the very encouraging subhead "Users of mental-health services are increasingly being recruited as academic researchers".

The context is that people who have experience of being the users of mental health services can be employed as researchers to research the user experience.  This seems to be a wholly positive thing. 

I do think there are some caveats though.  First, it applies only to this rather specialised field of academia, but to be fair that is right in the article title ("some academic researchers.")  Maybe more seriously, I noticed this paragraph:
"Huge cultural shifts need to happen within departments in order for academics employed because of their diagnosis to be made entirely welcome, observes Kati Turner, who has a long history of borderline personality disorder and depression, but is now well and working as a service-user researcher at St George's, University of London."
It seems dispiriting that this has to be said in what you would think would be the most welcoming environment for people with mental health issues in academia.

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