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Foregrounding the perspectives of mental health services users during the COVID-19 pandemic

Hannah Zeilig (London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, London, UK and University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Brioney Gee (NSFT, Norwich, UK)
Bonnie Teague (NSFT, Norwich, UK)
Jonathan Wilson (NSFT, Norwich, UK and University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Corinna Hackmann (Research and Development, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

ISSN: 2042-8308

Article publication date: 8 July 2020

Issue publication date: 21 August 2020




This paper aims to highlight the critical importance of the perspectives of mental health service-users during the COVID-19 pandemic.


This viewpoint is based on a review of recent research and literature and draws on consultations with experts by experience, including the lead author.


The authors argue that expertise-by-experience is critical to policy, service development and research; but there is a risk it will be neglected at a time of rapid and reactive clinical development.

Research limitations/implications

Understanding and responding to the nuances of individual need can only be achieved through coproducing service strategy design, delivery and research with mental health service users. The consultation outlined in this viewpoint gives some indication of the type of valuable insights that can be gained through seeking and listening to the perspectives of experts by experience.


The discussions revealed that experience of managing severe and complex mental health conditions can actually be advantageous when facing a crisis such as COVID-19.



Zeilig, H., Gee, B., Teague, B., Wilson, J. and Hackmann, C. (2020), "Foregrounding the perspectives of mental health services users during the COVID-19 pandemic", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 131-133.



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Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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