If you have recently joined the hub, do introduce yourself to others. How are you involved in learning and teaching about mental health?  What are you hoping to get out of membership?  What are the challenges you are currently grappling with? What might you have to offer to others in the network?  If you have been here for some time, do provide an update.

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Hi all,

Sorry chatted in wrong place. I am a practising psychotherapist with Hywel Dda Health Board,
I teach on and co-run the Swansea University CBT for psychosis and family work courses. 

Hi all,

I'm Juni. I currently studying in Nottingham, doing my master in Advanced Nursing with the interest in mental health. I will have the topic around mental health nursing education (for pre-registration nurses) for my dissertation. So, hopefully through this mhhe hub, I could get some useful information regarding to teaching and learning in mental health, that might help me in my dissertation and also in improving the teaching and learning process (in mental health) back in my work place in Indonesia. Thanks


My areas of particular expertise and experience are community and service user/carer involvement in higher education and policy-making, as well as the use of narrative, media and creative techniques in education. 

My primary roles are Associate Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Volunteer co-ordinator of the highly successful Comensus programme, which involves service users, carers and the wider community in the training and development of health and social care students. This project has attracted national and international attention and earned UCLan recognition as a flagship university for community and service user/carer involvement in higher education.

In addition to my involvement at UCLan I am involved in a wide variety of projects, organisations and networks. I represent the University of Central Lancashire at many health and social care conferences and events throughout Lancashire and the UK. Both personally and as Volunteer co-ordinator of Comensus, I have connections with universities and health and social care organisations worldwide.

I have recently been informed that the University is going to make me an Honorary Fellow in recognition of my work at the University and in the community, with a particular focus on mental health issues.   

I am involved in designing and delivering the ‘Comensus Experience’ – an opportunity for students to learn directly from service users and carers, via the use of narrative, media and creative techniques. Feedback from students is consistently and overwhelmingly positive, with a special emphasis on the value of the unique opportunity to ask questions directly to service users and carers. There have been examples of students deciding to remain on their UCLan course as a result of their involvement with the Comensus team.

I chair the Independent Community Involvement Team. This is a diverse group of volunteer service users and carers, who bring value to the UCLan experience by contributing their perspective on teaching and learning methods and materials, doing research, assisting the school of Health and the School of Social work with decision-making and participating directly in teaching. Their fundamental role is to embed awareness of service user and carer issues within Health and Social Care training at UCLan.

I’m heavily involved in research and publication in Health, Education and Social Care, and have co-published a book entitled Service User and Carer Involvement in Education for Health and Social Care. I have personally co-authored a number of publications with academic colleagues at UCLan on the subjects of health, social care, media and education.  I have personally worked with and supported UCLan students in the fields of nursing, social work, media, psychology, film and art and design, including supporting students with research and publication.

I support and mentor mental health service users and carers who are in higher education, helping to empower them and increase their confidence and self-respect.

I personally liaise on a regular basis with many community support groups to widen awareness of service user and carer involvement in higher education.

I also work directly with a number of Preston’s Mental Health Community Support Teams to facilitate service user involvement and participation.

I been collaborating with the UClan International School of Social Work to facilitate a creative writing group made up of service users, carers and members of the local community, which forms part of a larger international creative writing project.

I organise many Community Involvement and awareness-raising events such as the hugely successful annual One in Four Film Festival at UCLan that I chair each year which raises awareness of mental health issues and helps to fight stigma and discrimination. This event involves not just UCLan members, but local arts organisations and educational institutions such as Preston College and the University of Cumbria, and the community

I lead on the annual community involvement event, which, like the One in Four Film Festival, is generating local, regional and international interest. This event is attended by senior academics, university students, service users, carers and community members, as well as representatives from many leading health and social care organisations throughout the North West. This year’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever, and will be held on World Mental Health Day in the 53° venue at UCLan. Along with the One in Four Film Festival, this event will be part of UCLan’s Preston Guild contribution.



great story russell - i am impressed by the authority of its telling - you are an inspiration to those around you

Hi I am a lecturer in mental health nursing and am interested in empowerment and service user involvement having spent the last few years of my life writing a PhD on the subject.

I am now back in the land of reality and hoping to get back in touch with many of my friends and colleagues on this forum.


Hi Marjorie

Looking forward to chatting here.

Can you say a bit more about the photographs?  Are they from a study trip?


Well, since introducing myself some time ago it feels like I need to update especially since you'll see my name on MHHE stuff. I left Leeds Met in July to start a part time PhD at UCLAN (which I am enjoying thoroughly even though I know long dark moments of the soul are supposed to be a major part of the PhD experience).  I'm interested in intersecting disability discourse, postcolonial theory and mental health as a field.  As a freelance trainer and consultant I've been doing some work with MHHE which feels like a pleasure given the MHHE community, some training in care homes for a training company and I'm just finalizing some work I'm hoping to be doing with The College of Social Work, Leeds Mind and Bradford College.  I've kept strong links with Leeds Met- 10 good years there- in particular the final writing up of a British Council DelPHe project with colleagues in Zambia (http://www.britishcouncil.org/delphe-case-studies-2010.pdf) and a NIHR systematic review of peer support in prisons  ( http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/pips/http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/health/piph/hearings.htm  ). I guess I'm probably not the only MHHE member who might update their profile/introduction- feel free to let the MHHE community know what you've been up to since you joined!



I'm Esther Hack, my role is in developing mental health social workers, largely supporting preparation for the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) role, AMHP training and subsequent updating. I note that we have a member from New Zealand so I will explain that in England and Wales the AMHP works with two doctors to assess and if necessary detain people with mental health problems in hospital. I work for Hampshire County Council and deliver some training myself and commission specialists. I agree with some others that service user training is fundemental. We cover the law and areas of the AMHP role, e.g. older people, younger people, personality disorder, and legal issues such as Mental Health Tribunals. I am also seconded to Bournemouth University to deliver the Graduate Certificate in Professional Practice (Mental Health) a prerequisite for the AMHP training. I work with Raise the mental health service user training company and other local authorities to deliver this.

Thanks for posting Esther.  NB If you put the search term 'AMHP' in to the search box on the home page, you'll come up with others with an interest in this area + AMHP related postings.

Thanks Jill, that's useful


My name is Fiona (sometimes AKA Trixiebelle - it's my 'evening' name!)

I currently work at Making Waves in Nottingham (makingwaves.org) and my job title is 'Research Co-Ordinator'

Making Waves is a service-user lead organisation that specialises in training, consultancy and research.

All our members have had some experience of mental distress and have used MH services to any degree.

Personally, I have suffered (and still suffer) from MH problems that have impacted on my life, but choose to use these experiences to teach others about the issues that I consider important and sometimes VITAL to affect change for other people.

I have been a researcher (mainly qualitative research) for over 20yrs which feeds my incessant need to be talking to people, making sense of what they say and reporting/recommending on the findings in a USEFUL and productive way.

I was originally involved in commercial market research, but I threw in the towel when an advertising agency briefed me to ask customers of a very well-known insurance company if they thought the animal mascot on their billboard poster should be looking to the 'left or the right' of the text & logo of the company. They offered me £10K to ask people but I drew the line and decided to ask more pertinent questions about more pertinent issues!

At the moment, I work with a team of members at Making Waves that does monthly visits to Acute MH Wards and Residential/Rehab units across Nottingham City. We provide independent findings to the Trust based on our peer-lead contact with people experiencing the services and endeavour to facilitate changes that are challenging but POSITIVE.

I am hoping that membership of this group will help me to understand even more about issues that people face (both service users AND health/social-care professionals) and to come up with creative and challenging ways in which to develop my role within Making Waves and my own personal journey through my 'bat-crazy' life!!

The challenges I am currently grappling with??

  • The culture of cost-cutting within the NHS which has a VAST and debilitating effect on the experience of MH service users
  • 'Culture' itself within the service - diagnosis, treatment and staff attitudes
  • The effects of new benefit legislation which marginalise and penalise people with enduring mental health problems
  • And a load of other stuff besides ;)

What can I offer others in the network??

  • Honesty & integrity with a bit of 'madness' thrown in ;)

Looking forward to getting used to the layout of this site and meeting with like-minded (and maybe un-like-minded) people for debate and action!







fiona - you bring so much of importance - you have a humble wisdom, a courageous madness, an honest mind and a vulnerable heart - i'm glad you are here


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