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Mental health service users in researchCritical sociological perspectives$
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Patsy Staddon

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307334

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307334.001.0001

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date: 21 August 2017

Individual narratives and collective knowledge: capturing lesbian, gay and bisexual service user experiences

Individual narratives and collective knowledge: capturing lesbian, gay and bisexual service user experiences

Chapter:
(p.135) Ten Individual narratives and collective knowledge: capturing lesbian, gay and bisexual service user experiences
Source:
Mental health service users in research
Author(s):

Sarah Carr

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447307334.003.0010

This chapter explores the idea of using personal narrative and testimony to contribute to collective knowledge on lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) experiences of mental distress and mental health service use. It draws upon some personal reflections about the methodologies previously used by the writer, particularly where personal experience is included both as a starting point and as a form of inquiry and then located individual narrative as part of collective user and survivor knowledge. The exploration attempts to situate this approach within the wider tradition of the use of experiential knowledge, narrative and testimony in user and survivor research. It also links the use of personal narrative to the development of individual and collective identity for LGB people. Finally the potential of auto-ethnography to provide a viable methodology for capturing personal testimony, experience and narrative for user and survivor research, particularly that by LGB people, is discussed.

Keywords:   personal narrative, collective knowledge, LGB identity, auto-ethnography

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