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Professor Diana Rose started her academic career in sociolinguistics, social psychology, anthropology and feminist studies, first as a researcher and then as a lecturer. She has also used mental health services all her adult life and the distress associated with that put an end to her first career in 1986.

For 10 years she ‘lived in the community’ and became involved in the English user/ survivor movement. Then in 1996 these two identities – as user/ survivor and as researcher – came together as a new career in ‘user-led research’.

She started at an NGO that was tangentially part of King’s in 1996, developing a peer-led model of monitoring mental health services. She came to the Institute of Psychiatry in 2001 and became Professor of User-Led Research 12 years later.


  • Knowledge and research produced by people who use / survive mental health services or with psychosocial disabilities
  • Social and structural determinants of mental distress
  • How do people ‘live’ the experience of distress and other conditions when not in direct contact with statutory services
  • Coercion, compulsion and other means of supporting people in extreme distress

Diana's research interests range from the very local to global, but focusing always on the development of new knowledge and forms of support from users/ survivors and persons with psychosocial disabilities themselves. And indeed now go beyond mental health.

She is not a believer in the privileging of method, with its associated ‘hierarchies’ and believes attention must be paid to underlying concepts. She is particularly influenced by critical theory and issues of intersecting marginalisation.

Although Diana has degrees in psychology, social psychology and cultural studies, she would not name one single discipline as her ‘home.’ 

Further details

See Diana's research profile