Skip to content


Help a peer/survivor researcher create an inclusive new understanding of experiences of crisis in people living with a diagnosis of personality disorder

This is a lived experience-led interview research project, designed by a PhD student at King’s College London. They hope to interview people, including from diverse backgrounds and with marginalised social identities, who are living with personality disorder diagnoses and who have recently been through a particularly difficult time with their mental heath.  This could be described as an ‘intense period of distress’ or ‘crisis’.  The project is using the term ‘relational distress’ as an alternative for ‘personality disorder’, but will ask people what they think of this.  The aim is to create a ‘joint story’: a new and hopefully inclusive understanding of crisis experiences for people living with relational distress/personality disorder, to better understand mental health from the varied perspectives of real people’s lives.


The student, supported by her university supervisors, would love to hear from you if you identify as:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Living in the UK
  • Living with a/any personality disorder diagnosis
  • Have recently been through a particularly difficult time with your mental health, experiencing what could be described as an ‘intense period of distress’ or ‘crisis’
  • Happy and able to speak about your lived experiences, in recorded interviews, with an English-only speaker


The research team is hoping that people from diverse backgrounds and/or with marginalised identities will consider taking part, to capture a range of views and experiences.


Expected commitment from participants:

• Task: answer open questions about your lived experience, focusing on a recent period of distress, and about your life following this a few months later. These conversations will be recorded. Optional: answer some personal questions that will support efforts to be inclusive
• Commitment: Complete two interviews, three months apart, on afternoons agreed individually (excluding Fridays). Allow two hours each time, to include set-up and wrapping up (length is variable depending on how much you choose to talk about, and can be split if needed)
• Locations: Online: personal links will be provided
(Meeting face-to-face in a community setting may be possible in/near Warwickshire/London)
• Optional: give permission to be contacted in the future to hear about the project findings, and any potential new projects that could result


Commitment to inclusion:

• Questions about lived experience and diversity are at the heart of the project
• Please ask for any adjustments that might be helpful, the team will do their best to put these in place. Any accessibility requirement that cannot be met (e.g. the student only speaks English, without resources for translators/interpreters) will be discussed in project reports, with recommendations to address in any future projects
• Written Participant Information Sheet is available as a captioned audio recording
• Interviews are one-to-one conversations with the researcher, but first contact and set-up can be supported by informal supporters/carers if helpful
• There can be practice with joining digital meetings
• Values of ‘shared decision-making’ have informed the ethics-approved project, including plans for the possibility of any participant experiencing distress: participation will be fully informed and non-coercive


Closing date to apply: May 2025



How to Apply

Please see Kate’s student profile at for more background. Text (or call) Kate on 07378 792 097 or email the team to find out more about taking part.

Involvement Payment Details

Participants are being offered a £15 ‘thank you’ involvement payment for each interview (up to £30 in total) or a Love2shop voucher alternative. Participants will be given the opportunity to receive a smaller amount, there is a standard letter that can be provided for informing Jobcentre/DWP about the payment if this is needed. Digital payments can take up to 3 weeks to be received, as they need to be approved by university staff. Cash payments are only be available for in-person interviews.