Smith, Beverly Jayne (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Restricted to Repository staff only until 31 January 2027.
This thesis explores the significance of the mental health day centre in members’ lives. Drawing on diary entries and interviews with mental health day centre members it focuses on the pivotal role of the mental health day centre in members’ lives. In particular the way in which attendance enabled members to have a safe space in which to build and develop relationships and, most importantly, manage their mental distress. The theoretical framework of the double nature of embodiment is used to gain understanding of how both mental distress and discursive factors impact on members’ lives in the process of exclusion. This thesis concludes by reflecting on the value of a qualitative approach and a material discursive framework in illuminating the complexities of members’ experiences. Consideration is given to the fact that this thesis suggests four key areas are important to recognise with respect to mental distress and social exclusion: recognition of the reality of mental distress and the need for support; the significance of subjective understanding; the impact of stigma and discrimination and the importance of service user involvement in policy design.
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