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'Five years ago I was on suicide watch…now I’m in college gaining a qualification'

Buchanan, D; (2019) 'Five years ago I was on suicide watch…now I’m in college gaining a qualification'. Journal of Further and Higher Education 10.1080/0309877X.2019.1612861. (In press).

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Abstract

In the United Kingdom, although one in four adults reportedly experienced mental health difficulties within a one-year period, only 25% of them received treatment for their condition. Moreover, this group of adults are underrepresented in full-time employment and education and so to discover ways which may help to counteract this imbalance, an interpretive narrative study involving 15 adults with mental health problems was carried out. All the participants had attended classes in a Further Education college and were asked about their recent experiences of learning; their narratives were analysed in relation to well-being and transformative learning theory. Although certain negative aspects of their learning were identified which had the potential to impede their sense of well-being and potential transformative learning, these were outweighed by the numerous benefits that were reported. Nevertheless, the findings revealed that unless certain wider societal factors were sufficiently addressed, and specific support from the college Mental Health Advisers was provided, the potential for these benefits to be fully realised was hindered. This article argues that facilitating further education opportunities for adults with mental health problems may assist in promoting their wellbeing and a pathway to a different future, if the recommendations of this article are implemented.

Type: Article
Title: 'Five years ago I was on suicide watch…now I’m in college gaining a qualification'
DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2019.1612861
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2019.1612861
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Mental health, mental illness, well-being, transformative learning, adult learning, further education
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081556
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