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The experiences of paid formal lived experience workers within a secure mental health service

Christopher A. Griffiths (Academic Department, St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton, UK)
Ella Hancock-Johnson (Academic Department, St Andrew’s Healthcare, Northampton, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 11 September 2017

341

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the experience and impact of paid staff who are employed to use their lived experience of mental health issues and service use within a secure mental health provider.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis was employed.

Findings

Results from this study suggest that employing lived experience workers (LEWs) in secure mental health settings is valuable to clinical staff, service users, the employing organisation and LEWs themselves. Findings emphasised the importance of support for LEWs to enable them to fulfil their role and maintain wellbeing, and the need to consider LEWs career progression within and beyond the role.

Research limitations/implications

This study had a small sample size.

Practical implications

There is evidence to support LEWs in secure mental health settings and requirement for further understanding of their work in this environment. Specific recommendations include the need for training for clinical staff about the role of LEWs, specific LEWs role training, and regular supervision and mental health support for LEWs.

Originality/value

This is the first paper reporting the experience and impact of LEWs in a UK secure mental health service.

Keywords

Citation

Griffiths, C.A. and Hancock-Johnson, E. (2017), "The experiences of paid formal lived experience workers within a secure mental health service", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 12 No. 5, pp. 313-322. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-09-2016-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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