Remarkable lives: Jen Waring in conversation with Jerome Carson

Pages153-159
Published date08 August 2016
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-05-2016-0016
Date08 August 2016
AuthorJen Waring,Jerome Carson
Remarkable lives: Jen Waring in
conversation with Jerome Carson
Jen Waring and Jerome Carson
Dr Jen Waring is based at the
Department of Sport and
Biomedical Sciences, University
of Bolton, Bolton,UK.
Jerome Carsonis a Professor of
Psychology at the Department
of Psychology, University of
Bolton, Bolton, UK.
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide a profile of Jen Waring.
Design/methodology/approach Jen provides a short biographical description of her life. She is then
interviewed by Jerome.
Findings Jen talks about her long battle with mental health problems and what has sustained her over
this time. She talks about the crucial importance of support from both loved ones and professionals,
as well as medication.
Research limitations/implications Single case studies are of course just one persons story. Given Jen
is an academic biologist, she not only has a unique way of lookingat mental illness, she can see the potential
of developing approaches in the biological understanding for people experiencing mental distress.
Practical implications Jens account shows the need for long-term support for more severe mental
health problems. There are no quick fixes! It also highlights the need for interventions at biological,
psychological and social levels.
Social implications People need somewhere to live, someone to love and something meaningful to do
(Rachel Perkins). Many sufferers do not have all three. Services may only be able to provide two of these.
Originality/value Accounts of mental illness recovery by academics can often provide the authors with
amazing insights into the world of the mentally distressed. They can also serve as an inspiration to the many
students who experience mental distress.
Keywords Medication, Recovery, Music, Relationships, Diagnosis, Biology, Psychological therapy
Paper type Case study
Introduction
I cannot remember the first time I met Jen, but after getting to know her I realised we had a
shared interest in mental health issues. I had the idea of us doing a joint presentation to cognitive
behaviour therapy students, as I did a slot on biological aspects of mental illness. Sure enough
Jen told us a lot about biological aspects, and she talked of her passion for glial cells. However,
she also shared something of her own personal battles with mental illness. Her decision to speak
about her mental health problems in her TedX talk, marks a big step forward in sharing her
personal story with a global audience. This story is a further reaching out.
Brief biography by Jen Waring
I was born in Manchester in 1968, the youngestof three daughters. My memoriesof childhood are
happy; as a family, wewere very secure. My sisters and I had the usualsibling skirmishes but we
generally got on well and I recall afternoons spent in the garden, making up adventures and
losing ourselvesin these adventures. We moved to the North Eastcoast when I was six years old.
I loved being by the sea and spent many an hour exploring in my own little world. I was always
DOI 10.1108/MHSI-05-2016-0016 VOL. 20 NO. 3 2016, pp. 153-159, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 2042-8308
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MENTALHEALTH AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
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PAG E 15 3

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