Audible Thoughts – A unique research project in mental health

Audible Thoughts – A unique research project in mental health


I have found undertaking PhD research a solitary experience, so it is lovely to find other people on the same journey and researching in a similar field. Ali is doing fascinating research at the same University as me and I can’t wait to meet up with her and exchange notes. Here is a summary of her research and a request to get involved:

My name is Ali Hull and I’m a PhD student at the University of .Leeds. I’m carrying out some research into the ways in which we think, talk, write about and otherwise represent mental health, with a view to understanding how those things impact on clinical practice. I am looking for people who are aged 18+ and have experience of NHS mental health care to take part in my study.

Purpose of the research

There are many different ways to think about mental health. Service users and mental health staff don’t always agree on what causes mental health problems, or what can be done to help those who experience them. This sometimes contributes to a mutual sense of ‘not being understood.’

Previous research tells us that staff who work with people who are mentally unwell sometimes find their work challenging. To help them cope, staff use things like humour to help them. My research attempts to bring together the ways we think about mental health and the way mental health staff deal with the difficulties of working with those who are distressed. The hope is that my research findings will be used to help improve care.

The first phase of my research will help me to understand the experiences of mental health service users. Later, I will be interviewing staff from within mental health to try and understand their experiences.

What next?

If you are interested in taking part, please go to and register, then write about your experiences. There is no word limit and no right or wrong way to write. If you are interested but don’t feel able to write about your experiences just yet, the study will remain open until the end of December 2014.

Introducing myself 

Alongside being a PhD student, I’m also a current mental health service user. My background is in psychology and counselling therapy. My research interests include perspectives on mental health and mental health care, chronic illness and pain, personal identity, support and friendship, family life, how the physical environment is connected to mental wellbeing, mental health in the virtual world and pets as therapy (PAT).

You can contact me at: Ali Hull, Post Graduate Research Suite, Baines Wing, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT email or click the “ask a question” button on the Audible Thoughts website.

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