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Mental Health Service User and Carer Perspectives


1. Demonstrate the following knowledge and understanding of the nature, prevalence and impact of mental illness.

2. Demonstrate the following skills and abilities Critically analyse the evidence for how the experience of, and interventions for, a specific mental illness impact on those who are affected by it.

The assignment will take the form of a 2000 word report related to mental health service user and carer perspectives on living with a mental illness/disorder. The report contents must also include a critical account of mental health service users in the UK and carers/parents (where appropriate) views on services and support mechanisms involved in the process of supporting the recovery of individuals by meeting their diverse needs.

You will need to choose a mental illness to focus on and a social group, e.g. children and young people under age 18 or working age adults or older people aged 65 and older or people in prison, and critically analyse how your chosen mental illness impacts on your chosen social group from the service users’ perspective. You need to critically analyse the evidence for how the experience of, and interventions for, your chosen mental illness impact on those in your social group.

You will be expected to use qualitative data to describe the lives of those affected by your chosen illness and how they view treatment and support services. For the qualitative data, you should draw on primary research studies where service users and/or families/carers speak about their experiences i.e. you must use primary research studies that give ‘voice’ to your chosen social group. These are studies that look at what your social group have to say life is like for them living with the mental health problem and the impact the mental illness has on them and their life as well as what they say about the support/mental health services they receive in the UK.

Finally, you must critically evaluate the services/support received by your chosen group. You need to say whether or not, based on the evidence, these mental health services/support in the UK are working to assist/help your chosen group and whether all with your chosen condition have equal access to services. Here you can also draw on studies where those with mental illnesses speak about the support they receive and whether it is enough/meets their needs.

The final report must include a full reference list of texts and sources cited in the main body. All referencing in the text and reference list must follow the Harvard style, as specified in the Harvard referencing guidelines.   Please remember you only ever list primary sources in your reference list. Please look up secondary referencing in the Faculty's Harvard referencing guidelines.

To pass the assignment, there is an expectation that you will draw on a range of both academic sources including peer-reviewed primary research papers, academic books and academic journal articles and other appropriate sources.

Proofread and edit your work before handing it in.

1.Title page (you must provide your own title)

2.Abstract or Executive Summary (on a separate page)

3.Table of contents (which includes page numbers for the different sections/subsections and should be on a new page)


5.Discussion of findings (should consist of different headed sections/subsections; subheading titles should also appear in your table of contents)



8.Appendix/Appendices. Appendices should be given titles and these should be included in your Table of Contents. (Note you do not have to use appendices.)

You are reminded that plagiarism of any type will be penalised and result in a fail and may result in work being referred to the University’s Academic Conduct Panel.

In order to pass the assessment, you will need to:

•Provide evidence of understanding of the diversity of mental health service users, and demonstrate the ability to interpret evidence.

•Explore the validity of prevailing approaches and the ways in which patients and service users respond to them.

•Utilise qualitative data from service users’ and, where appropriate, carers’ perspectives to understand experiences of those affected by your chosen illness or disorder and to critically evaluate the services/support they receive in their recovery.

Carry out wider reading of peer-reviewed journals drawing on appropriate UK based qualitative studies and adopt an appropriate critical approach to your analysis and evaluation of mental health services, treatment and support in the UK, considering the diverse needs of different groups/individuals. Reference accurately and systematically throughout your work using the correct Harvard format. Write in clear, accurate and succinct academic English.

Do not simply describe signs and symptoms of your chosen mental illness and do not simply describe different treatments/therapies available. This is not what the task is about. You must focus on service users’ perspectives on treatments/therapies/support.

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