Project Details

University of Nottingham icon


 Professor Stephen D Ryder

Project area or title

The use of lived experience narratives to promote help-seeking and reduce stigma in patients with dual diagnoses of mental health and alcohol use disorder 


A significant proportion of people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) have a concomitant mental health (MH) comorbidity and feel social stigma. This is associated with an increased risk of mortality, lack of trust, poor engagement in treatment or hope for recovery. A recent definitive trial demonstrated that lived experience narratives can improve the quality of life and meaning in life in those with mental health problems ( Lived experience narratives are becoming popular among drug and alcohol treatment settings as an intervention. Reading or watching peers’ stories can have numerous beneficial consequences for the recipient such as connection, empowerment, and reduction of stigma. NHS long-term plan advocates for better care for people with co-occurring mental health and alcohol/drug conditions. The PhD will enable healthcare workers to explore the role of lived experience as an intervention with the aim of reducing social stigma, strengthening trust, and improving outcomes for people with dual diagnoses of MH and AUD. The student will select methods and epistemological stance. Work could include a systematic literature review, identifying and engaging with underserved populations, collecting, and analysing lived experiences, developing interventions incorporating lived experiences, designing educational material for healthcare professionals, enabling service users to analyse narratives; and developing knowledge products to influence policy. In addition, the student will have access to an NIHR-funded Multidisciplinary Partnership in AUD and a well-established PPIE group represented by people with lived experience of MH/AUD.


Physical Health and Mental Health Multimorbidity


University of Nottingham

Specific Project Eligibility