Understanding and improving the experience of claiming social security for mental health problems in the west of Scotland: A participatory social welfare study

Caroline Ploetner, Morgan Telford, Karina Brækkan, Kenneth Mullen, Sue Turnbull, Andrew Gumley, Stephanie Allan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A growing body of literature links claimant interactions with the UK social security system and negative psychological consequences. Psychologists for social change developed a framework to outline proposed mechanisms of psychological impact from austerity. This codesigned study aimed to make an informed comment on areas of dis(agreement) between the Austerity Ailments framework and how people claiming for mental health problems describe their own experiences. In line with the participatory social welfare design of the study, qualitative analysis was performed by both claimants and academics. The overall findings indicate that existing framework mostly captured claimant experiences. However, some aspects of the claimant experience (particularly social aspects) were not well captured. Claimants were keen to utilise this study as an opportunity to gather claimant ideas on how to improve the system. Therefore, we report their suggestions that may be useful for those designing and improving social welfare systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-692
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Volume48
Issue number3
Early online date15 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • community-based participatory research
  • mental health
  • psychology
  • social security
  • United Kingdom

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