DUCIE network

Developers of User and Carer Involvement in Education

  • Are you employed to develop user and carer involvement strategies within a higher education institution?
  • Are you an academic for whom service user and carer involvement is a core aspect of your role?
  • Do you ever find yourself feeling isolated or estranged from the HE environment? Or struggling to get other people to engage with involvement work?
  • Do you sometimes feel that you don't know how to ask the ‘right' questions? (Or that other people don't!)

The Developers of User and Carer Involvement in Education (DUCIE) network is there for you. 


DUCIE aims to enhance the involvement of users and carers in learning and teaching through development of a support network for user and carer involvement development workers employed within UK higher education institutions (HEIs).

Meetings are held two to three times a year, with email and telephone contact maintained in between through the DUCIE jiscmail discussion list and online chats here on the mhhehub. Find out more.

Next meeting: Monday 12 June 2017 at UCLAN in Preston.  Contact j.anderson@lancaster.ac.uk for further details. 

If you are a user and carer involvement worker in a Higher Education Institution (you may be employed under a different title, such as ‘development worker', ‘consumer academic' or ‘administrator'), you are welcome to join DUCIE. You are also welcome to bring along with you a colleague who supports your role within your institution.

To join DUCIE and/or for further information, contact  Jill Anderson j.anderson@lancaster.ac.uk

See here for details of past outputs of the Ian Light Award for work in pairs.

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You may also be interested in the LIVED EXPERIENCE NETWORK (LEN). Contact Jools Symons for further details.

Blog Posts

Medical Education - Mythology Special Issue

Posted by Jill Anderson on December 12, 2017 at 16:41 0 Comments

Myths and legends exist in every culture. Typically, they are so commonly believed that they are not noticed or questioned by most people within the culture. Even in this day and age of “evidence-based education” many myths survive through assumption, authority, or poorly grounded claims that the evidence says ‘such and such’.

In an effort to shed light on broadly held views that deserve closer scrutiny, if not outright abandonment, Medical Education is planning a…
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Academic Ableism: Disability and higher education - new book

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 24, 2017 at 20:00 0 Comments

Academic Ableism brings together disability studies and institutional critique to recognize the ways that disability is composed in and by higher education, and rewrites the spaces, times, and economies of disability in higher education to place disability front and center.  For too long, argues Jay Timothy Dolmage, disability has been constructed as the antithesis of higher education, often positioned as a distraction, a drain, a problem to be solved. The ethic of…
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Drayton Park women's crisis house - interview with Shirley McNicholas

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 24, 2017 at 16:21 0 Comments

Drayton Park women’s crisis house in North London offers an alternative to hospital admission for women experiencing mental health crises. It was Shirley McNicholas’ vision that brought it into existence and she has been leading the service since it opened.  As it approaches its twentieth anniversary in December, she talks to Anne Cooke.…

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Qualitative conversations - Alec Grant

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 23, 2017 at 17:20 0 Comments

In this episode Alec talks about collaborative autoethnography, hyphen identities and the importance of telling stories that challenge the dominant narrative about mental illness. He shares some ideas about why different writing strategies are important, how to become a better storyteller and the need to write from different perspectives.

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Oppressed majority - film

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 23, 2017 at 9:57 0 Comments

This film may be useful for triggering discussion about how sexism affects mental wellbeing. 

On what seems to be just another ordinary day, a man is exposed to sexism and sexual violence in a society ruled by women... (10 minutes)

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Enhancing student wellbeing: a handbook for academic educators

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 22, 2017 at 19:51 0 Comments

This handbook offers research-based guidance for academic teachers and leaders – as the drivers of innovation in university teaching and learning – to understand how and why particular curriculum choices or pedagogical approaches might support or undermine the psychological needs and academic outcomes of university students. By providing easily adaptable and transferable ideas for designing curriculum and assessment, and by fostering teaching and learning practices that support student…

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Croatia: out of institutions, into the world

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 19, 2017 at 20:00 0 Comments

More than 8,200 people with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities in Croatia remain in segregated institutions and psychiatric hospitals with little control over decisions that affect their lives, Human Rights Watch said. While the Croatian government has made some progress in protecting the rights of people with disabilities, the process of moving people out of institutions and into community-based living arrangements has been limited and slow. In a video released by Human Rights Watch,…

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1000 conversations: speaking out on mental health

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 18, 2017 at 12:34 0 Comments

Stories of people with lived experience of mental health difficulties - shared on the Centre for Mental Health website. 

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Quality in Undergraduate Education: How Powerful Knowledge Disrupts Inequality

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 18, 2017 at 12:00 0 Comments

Globally, the appetite for higher education is great, but what do students and societies gain? Quality in Undergraduate Education foregrounds the importance of knowledge acquisition at university. Many argue that university education is no longer a public good due to the costs incurred by students who are then motivated by the promise of lucrative employment rather than by studying a discipline for its own sake. McLean, Abbas and Ashwin, however, reveal a…

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International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 18, 2017 at 11:55 0 Comments

'The International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal (IIPDW) was created to respond to a glaring need in mental health: to develop ways for helping people withdraw from psychiatric drugs.

Mental health has failed to provide support to people who want to reduce or withdraw from their psychiatric drugs. Often, people are simply told it is a bad idea, and thus are left to try to reduce or withdraw without the support they need.

Indeed, psychiatric drugs have been…

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