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Case study: Taking part in research: Jackie's story

Meet Jackie

Jackie is taking part in the Culturally-adapted Family Intervention (CaFI) trial at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The NIHR funded CaFI trial is testing a new ‘talking therapy’ with Black and Mixed heritage service users, their families, community members and healthcare professionals. Evidence shows that African and Caribbean people in the UK are more likely than other ethnic groups to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and related psychoses, yet their engagement with support and treatment is generally more limited. This new therapy is designed to address this.

Dr Alison Bennetts, Research Therapist explains: 'We know that current therapies are based on very western conceptualisations of mental health and therefore might not be engaging or feel relevant to people from these communities. We also know that the evidence on which they are based don't typically involve people from these backgrounds.'

Talking about her diagnosis of Schizophrenia, Jackie says: ‘I was totally devastated. My brain went numb. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t talk to people. I was like an introvert. I didn’t really have a life.’

Jackie found out about the CaFi trial through her community psychiatric nurse: ‘I had three therapists that came and they’d spend about an hour to an hour and a half here. We’d talk about my beliefs, about the certain groups of people that I had issues with.’

The study hopes to find out if this type of treatment is helpful and effective. Dr Alison Bennetts comments: ‘Not only do we hope that the participants themselves will experience some kind of benefit from these interventions but also what we learn from the study really helps inform what then happens in the NHS and what we can deliver in the UK.’

For Jackie, the trial has had positive results: ‘I can go out. I can feel confident. I can talk to people. I feel part of the community now. The therapy finished probably a couple of months ago now and I am reaping the benefits. I feel free mentally now whereas before I felt like I had a load of barbed wire wrapped round my brain and I couldn’t get out of it. But now I feel much freer.’

She continues: ‘It’s a positive thing looking into your cultural beliefs. The therapy has helped me tremendously. I’d recommend it to anyone.’

Watch Jackie’s story

For more information about the CaFI trial, or to register your interest to take part, please contact the Research Team at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust by emailing