Teaching undergraduate psychology students about mental health through student-led case studies: a case example of the celebrity Spike Milligan
The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
Article publication date: 25 October 2021
Issue publication date: 28 April 2022
The purpose of this paper is to suggest that student-led case studies are an important way to learn about mental health problems and to highlight this by presenting a case study of the comedic genius Spike Milligan.
Celebrities live their lives in the public eye. In recent years, many have talked about their struggles with mental health. This paper is based on a student-led case study of the celebrity Spike Milligan.
This case study suggests one previously under-emphasised issue and argues that Spike Milligan’s wartime experiences may have led to post-traumatic stress disorder. Second, that he may have developed neuro-inflammation, through contracting sandfly fever during the war. This could have been an additional trigger for bipolar disorder.
While this is a single case study, it draws on a wide variety of research sources to back up the arguments advanced.
Student-led case studies provide a way of engaging students more actively with mental health problems.
Mental illness is complex, if not more complex, than physical health problems. Case studies of celebrities like Spike Milligan can help develop a public understanding of mental illness, as they already have a working knowledge about the person.
The case study illustrates how Bipolar 1 disorder is a complex and unique condition and that every individual’s illness has different predisposing characteristics. It suggests that student-led case studies are a helpful learning tool.
The authors report no conflict of interest.
Husbands, M. and Carson, J. (2022), "Teaching undergraduate psychology students about mental health through student-led case studies: a case example of the celebrity Spike Milligan", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 256-273. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-01-2021-0005
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited