Chanell Cumber in conversation with Jerome Carson

Date13 February 2017
Publication Date13 February 2017
AuthorChanell Cumber,Jerome Carson
SubjectHealth & social care,Mental health,Social inclusion
Chanell Cumber in conversation with
Jerome Carson
Chanell Cumber and Jerome Carson
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide a profile of Chanell Cumber.
Design/methodology/approach Chanell starts by giving a short account of her life. She is then
interviewed by Jerome.
Findings Chanell witnessed years of domestic abuse from her father towards her mother. This led her to
develop mental health problems at a young age. Her account reveals her struggles to recover.
Research limitations/implications While single case studies are just that, they offer us insights that are
missing from many professional narratives. These can often allow us a unique window into peopleslives.
Practical implications Chanell points out the need for mental health services to have a more prolonged
engagement with people who use services and outlines why this is important.
Social implications As a society we do not always reach out to quieter individuals who may go under the
radar. Sometimes being more forward and offering people a chance to open up, may provide them with the
opportunity to reveal the pressures they are under.
Originality/value Each persons story is unique and gives us differing understandings of the struggles that
people battle with and how they have overcome these.
Keywords Suicide, Trust, Recovery, Depression, Domestic abuse
Paper type Case study
How often does it happen in life that we make judgements about people whom we do not really
know? As the saying goes, still waters do indeed run deep! Chanell is a bit like that. She is a very
quiet and private person. You would have no idea about the sort of background she came from
unless you were to have read her story. Let her tell us the story in her own words [].
Brief biography by Chanell Cumber
It is sad how many children are witnesses of domestic violence. I was one of these
children growing up. My father was an alcoholic abuse perpetrator and my mother was his
victim until I was eight years old. I and my siblings, were rarely victims of my fathers violent
behaviour, my mother often receiving the consequences of our actions. I witnessed not only the
physical violence against my mother, but also the emotional abuse she suffered. My father often
seemed to be filled with rage. I remember listening to constant arguments, screaming, shouting
and the smashing of objects, while being cuddled up in the same bed as my older sister, crying.
My father suffered extreme paranoia. This resulted in a bank vault-lock being fitted on our
backdoor, specifically to keep people out as he feared if my mother confided in anyone
they would come and confront him. My father seemed to be at war, with what or who, I do not
know, but my mother was the peace maker, constantly aiming to protect and conceal us from
the outbursts.
Fast forward and after many years of suffering at the hands of my father, my mother found the
courage to leave him and she was strong enough to leave for good. This permanent separation
Chanell Cumber is based at the
Department of Psychology,
University of Bolton,
Bolton, UK.
Jerome Carson is a Professor
of Psychology at the
Department of Psychology,
University of Bolton,
Bolton, UK.
DOI 10.1108/MHSI-08-2016-0021 VOL. 21 NO. 1 2017, pp. 13-17, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2042-8308
PAG E 13

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