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,

and I think I've met a number of you, and look forward to having contact with you via the magical medium of the internet.  By way of intro- I'm at Leeds Met as a Teacher Fellow (activities of best practice in HE, learning & teaching) and a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health.  I'm really interested in critical psychitary but struggle with problems of critique from within, and post-structuralism.  I'm hoping to start my PhD shortly ( everyone phrases this tentatively) and I'm curious about the theroetical possibilities of post-colonial theory for understanding the presence and activities of psychiatry with a bit of disability theory/activism lobbed in! I'd like to think that I'm probably more interestsing to know that any of this makes me sound, but then,  I would.


Hi. I'm Stuart.I'm a practicing mental health nurse. Also a trainer alongside clinical practice.

Nice to meet you.



Hi I'm Mat and I wear several hats: as a training and development worker for a specialist infrastructure charity that supports and promotes self help groups, as a member of such a group for patients on a clinical trial of a specialised mood disorder service, and as a service user.


hello I just heard of this netwrok through the Psychiatric nursing list which was active and exciting some years ago but seems to have lost the interest of the members. I have an enduring interest in how services can respond more effectively for people who are long term users of the mental healh services. This is based on the concepts and perspectives of the service user developed Recovery in Mental Health.  I work both at AUT University in Auckland New Zealand as the programme coordinator for the mental health support work programmes and have a private practice for supervision mainly of mental health support workers as well as counselling and group work. I am, with Dayspring Trust, currently facilitating a programme 'Moving Forward' for women most of whom have long term, complex and multiple issues including mental health issues. I am really looking forward to the discussions here.

Hi i am Stefan and I currently teach on an MSc in Social Work course. I specifically focus on mental health topic. I am  qualified social work and practiced as a forensic social worker in the past. h

Hi!  I'm Barbara Riddell and I'm the Co-ordinator of Service User & Carer Involvement on the postgraduate clinical psychology training programme (PsychD) at Surrey University in Guildford.  I'm not a clinical psychologist, but I am a user of mental health services and have been for a long time. I work here 2 days a week and have worked here for 5 years.


My role is to get our trainee clinical psychologists to learn not just about service users/carers but from them.  We've done some pioneering stuff over the years (she says modestly!) and I'm happy to share these lessons  with others.  (More on this will follow when I've worked my way around this site!).


My background is in public relations where I worked for over 20 years before grinding to a halt. After that, I went to University as a mature student and have 2 degrees in Cultural Studies (wonderful subject - we wrote essays on rave culture and Trainspotting was a set text!). I do freelance work too, working for a couple of service user organisations (Rethink and Emergence) and have just joined a 5-year research project on crisis resolution for people experiencing mental distress.  I also run workshops for other clinical psychology training courses on service user/carer involvement.


I really enjoy my job at Surrey Uni.  We're a small team on the PsychD programme, and my colleague are great to work with.  They're committed to service user/carer involvement in training, and we do a lot of pioneering work here, so it's great to work with such a positive bunch.  We're also lucky with having some excellent service user/carer colleagues too .... anyway, I won't go on now ... but I have some documents to add the Resources page which might be useful for others (Jill - can you let me know how I add those please?).


In my spare time I like reading (I'm into detective novels at the moment, but they're all starting to merge into one now), spending time with friends, and - god help me! - going to the gym.  This is sooooooo unlike me I can hardly believe I'm saying it!


This looks like a really great resource so thanks Jill for getting this going!  All the best, Barbara




Hi All,

I am a lecturer in nursing with the Open University, specialising in Mental Health. I feel strongly that we need to work harder to break down the 'them and us' facade when we refer to service users. I am always willing to admit to my students that I have experienced mental distress/mental illness and it never fails to disappoint me when students go silent as they are not quite sure how to respond, this I find particularly sad as they are working in mental health, what hope have we to educate 'the public' if those working within the health system are uncomfortable with admitting to having experienced mental health problems? The statistics apply to everyone, not just those who don't work in healthcare.

I look forward to sharing views and information with others on this forum.



Hi all


Greetings from a reluctant blogger...not out of disinterest, more to do with never getting around to it so I'm hoping having pre-arranged times will give me the jolt I need!  I'm a lecturer in social work with a focus on mental health and train mental health officers in Scotland (AMHPs elsewhere).  I'm particulalry interested in the whole debate around the use of coercion in MH and the changing nature of MH as a social construct.  Like Bill, I'm in that strange place of having committed to starting a PhD, but not having confirmed what exactly it will be about....though I get the sense this is not an uncommon experience! I guess I'm taking part to share ideas, pick brains and see what emerges from that.


Hi Pearse,

are you getting any closer to knowing what your PhD is all about? If 'yes'- whats the trick? I'm getting a better sense and I think I've got as close as I'l get to a methodology, and I'm finding it helpful to think of this year as 'scoping' but with substance.


Hi Bill

A huge fat zero on all fronts!! Been totally subsumed by work.  My latest plan is to set PhD days aside for the next six months and stick to the plan like a desperate limpet!  Glad to hear you're making some progress - will be good to catch up about it when you're up in Jan.

Busy over the festivities? 

Cheers, P

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. 


this is an entirely spurious item but I was at Swansea Uni 1988-91 on the BSc (Hon) psychology course and when life permits I like to pop back to ol' Abertawe.  Hope the Uni is well.




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