Researchers are seeking to measure the therapeutic value of reading recovery stories.
The Narrative Experiences Online (NEON) study is investigating whether accessing online real-life mental health recovery stories can benefit people affected by mental health problems. We are currently running three clinical trials. The largest is called the NEON Trial. We are also running trials for people with experience of mental health problems other than psychosis (NEON – O) and for informal carers (NEON – C).
“Stories carry in their DNA a blueprint for survival” – John Yorke
What is the NEON Trial?
The NEON Trial aims to understand whether having online access to real-life mental health recovery stories can benefit people with experience of psychosis, or people with similar experiences (e.g. hearing voices, hallucinations, non-consensual realities, unusual beliefs). People can take part even with just a single episode of psychosis, and no formal diagnosis is required.
For our trials, NEON has assembled a large and diverse collection of recovery narratives from across the world, with the aim of creating the world’s largest, and most diverse, mental health recovery story collection. This can be accessed through the NEON Intervention; an online web application which works on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers.
Am I Eligible?
You or your clients are eligible for the NEON Trial if you meet all the following criteria:
- Experience of psychosis, or similar types of experience, in the last five years
- Experience of mental health-related distress in the past 6 months
- Resident in England, and aged 18 or above
- Able to access the internet on a personal computer, mobile device or at a community venue, even if you need support from others to do this
- Able to understand written and spoken English
- Able to provide online informed consent.
Eligibility is assessed through a short online questionnaire. No access to clinical records is required.
What does the study involve?
Participants who meet the inclusion criteria will be individually randomised into either the intervention group (immediate access to the NEON Intervention) or the control group (access to the NEON Intervention after one year).
You will be asked to complete an online consent form, provide an email address and to complete a series of questionnaires about yourself and your wellbeing at four different points across a one-year period; at initial sign up, one week, 12 weeks and 52 weeks into the study. Questionnaires at sign-up and 52 weeks will take about 30 minutes to complete, and questionnaires at one week and 12 weeks take 10 minutes at most.
You might be contacted with an invitation to attend an interview by telephone or video-conference, to discuss your experiences of taking part in the trial. You will only be contacted if you have agreed to do so when you sign up. Interviews will last no longer than 90 minutes.
This is an online trial; you will never have to visit the health service or meet any of the researchers. No diagnosis is needed to take part, and NEON will never ask you for access to your health records.
If you are allocated to the NEON Trial, a £20 voucher will be offered via email on completion of each set of trial questionnaires, and if you attend an interview.
How can I sign up?
Signing up is free and easy to do. Head to recoverystories.uk
The NEON Collection
With over 400 stories so far, we are constantly adding to the NEON Collection. The NEON Collection has a diverse range of stories presented in different formats including video, audio, images and text, and can also be filtered by categories, including age, gender, ethnicity and mental health problem.
If you have a mental health story that you would like to share, we would also love to hear from you. Our individual story donation portal is now open. Head to : https://researchintorecovery.com/donateastory for more information.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch at:
Phone: 07973 841 271
The NEON study is funded by the NHS, through the National Institute of Health Research. For more details on our funding and approvals, please visit www.recoverystories.uk
Clinical Trial Registrations:
NEON Trial: ISRCTN11152837
NEON-O Trial: ISRCTN63197153
NEON-C Trial: ISRCTN76355273
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