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For whom the bell CHIMEs: a synthesis of remarkable student lives

Robert Hurst (School of Psychology, University of Bolton, Bolton, UK)
Jerome Carson (School of Psychology, University of Bolton, Bolton, UK)

Mental Health and Social Inclusion

ISSN: 2042-8308

Article publication date: 2 February 2021

Issue publication date: 8 June 2021




The purpose of this paper is to review the 20 remarkable lives of student accounts published in this journal. These recovery narratives (RNs) are examined first in terms of whether they meet the five elements of the connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment (CHIME) model of recovery and then in terms of what makes each account remarkable.


Two Excel spreadsheets were created. One had each author’s name and the five elements of the CHIME model, the other the features of a remarkable life.


All 20 accounts fulfilled the criteria for the CHIME model, independently validating this model of recovery. Hence, each account showed evidence of connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment. A number of additional characteristics stood out from the accounts such as the importance of motherhood and of education.

Research limitations/implications

All 20 accounts were only reviewed by the two authors, who may be subject to bias. To reduce this, the first author did the bulk of the ratings. This paper shows the importance of education for recovery.

Practical implications

Some 15/20 accounts reported problems with mental health services, mainly around waiting lists. Must mental health always remain a Cinderella service?


This is the first attempt to synthesise this particular set of recovery narratives, entitled remarkable lives. These accounts show the richness of the recovery journeys embarked on by many sufferers and these are just drawn from one University. Like the authors of these stories, we too as recovery specialists have much to learn from their inspiring accounts.



The authors are indebted to all the students who shared their “remarkable lives” with Jerome Carson. Their stories have inspired many people. Authors also owe a debt of gratitude to Dr Rachel Perkins who has long been a champion of the lived experience narrative. Funding: There is no funding to declare for the present paper


Hurst, R. and Carson, J. (2021), "For whom the bell CHIMEs: a synthesis of remarkable student lives", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 195-207.



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