Mitchell, Hannah (2017) ‘I Was Not Someone Who Would Have a Mental Health Problem. I’ve Always Been Very Sympathetic and Understanding of all These Things, but I Still Didn’t Think It Applied to Me’ Exploring Individuals’ Experiences of Accessing Support for Anxiety and Depression: A Thematic Analysis. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The prevalence of mental ill health and severity of its impact across society highlights the importance of further research to extend our understanding of this pressing issue. The current study utilises a qualitative, critical realist approach to gain in-depth understanding of individuals’ experiences of accessing support for anxiety and depression. Eleven participants, who have accessed support for anxiety or depression within the last five years, took part in semi-structured interviews regarding their experiences. The interview transcripts formed the data set, which was analysed using Braun & Clarke’s (2006) guidelines for thematic analysis. From the analysis four main themes were created to represent the experiences described by participants. These were ‘Reluctance to Access Support and Delaying until Crisis’, ‘Concerns About Medication’, ‘Sharing and Vulnerability’ and ‘Having to Fight for Support’. The findings emphasise the challenges individuals face while attempting to access support and bring to life the struggles involved. Based on these findings areas for change and further research are explored.

Hannah Mitchell FINAL THESIS.PDF - Accepted Version
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