Hear from an Expert by Experience Hear from an Expert by Experience

“Experiencing disturbances in mental health can be devastating, at best it is extremely unpleasant and deeply disturbing. Although, as a society, we have made huge progress in addressing the stigma associated with mental health issues, there still exists an instinct to cover up and attempt to continue as normal. At some level, many sufferers have low self-esteem and blame themselves for their problems, also believing that others judge them harshly. After support from a UEA graduate clinical psychologist I was able to recognise and challenge these thoughts. I was then invited to take part in various components of UEA clinical psychologists training, from open days and interviews to student evaluation and curriculum reviews. In doing this, I have found that my experience has value. Rather than my mental health issues being a part of myself to be ashamed of, I am thrilled to be able to share the personal knowledge so that it helps other people to travel this journey and, hopefully, receive excellent care. When taking part in the activities, the staff and students are open, caring and supportive. I have found these times to be wonderful opportunities for learning; the clinical psychologists are always willing to share information about their areas of speciality. Experts by experience are never patronised but are always respected and treated as absolute equals to the experts by training (psychologists!). I believe that the programme to include experts by experience has been shown to be of mutual benefit to all participants.”

Tania Nolan- Expert by Experience