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Mental health, stigma and psychologists’ lived experience of caring

Angela Burrows (Department of Psychology, Sport and Geography, School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK)
Claire Warner (Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Wickford, UK)
Jennifer Heath (Department of Psychology, Sport and Geography, School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK)
Saskia Keville (Department of Psychology, Sport and Geography, School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 25 November 2022

Issue publication date: 2 February 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

Mental health (MH) and caring can be demanding for those directly and indirectly impacted. An under-researched area is that of professionals’ personal experiences of caring for a loved one with MH difficulties. This study aims to provide an in-depth exploration of psychologists’ experiences of caring and its impact on clinical practice.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 11 psychologists with experiences of caring for a loved one with a diagnosed MH condition and/or MH distress participated in semi-structured interviews focused on caring experiences and its impact. Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

Themes identified were as follows: personal and professional roles; the emergence of a carer identity; carer stress and strain; impact on professional practice; and dual positioning.

Originality/value

This study highlighted the knowledge and value of listening to professionals with lived experiences. Their ability to understand stigmatisation through personal caring experiences may facilitate the mitigation of this for vulnerable people attending clinical services.

Keywords

Citation

Burrows, A., Warner, C., Heath, J. and Keville, S. (2023), "Mental health, stigma and psychologists’ lived experience of caring", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 171-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-03-2022-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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