What does DUCIE do?

The DUCIE network aims to:

  • provide support, and help meet the needs for continuing professional development, of involvement workers employed in HEIs
  • share and disseminate good practice and examples of existing posts and initiatives
  • provide opportunities for debate and the teasing out of complex areas of practice
  • develop good practice guidelines on the involvement of users and carers in learning and teaching in higher education (building on work begun with the Learning from Experience guide),  the establishment of involvement worker posts, and development of a context in which they can flourish.
  • act as a central point of contact for national initiatives, such as the Mental Health in Higher Education project, seeking to engage with users and carers involved in learning and teaching in Higher Education
  • act as a campaigning and pressure group

Activities:

See here for 

 

Background to the Network

See also this longer extract from a recent book

In the summer of 2005, a small band of user and carer involvement development workers, based in Higher Education Institutions, met over two days in Nottingham.   They had in common that they were fairly newly appointed to posts with the aim of facilitating user and carer involvement in education for health and social care.   Lively discussion was accompanied by a shared sense of optimism and enjoyment in the possibilities of these new roles.  They were seen to pose significant challenges too.

Some of the issues related to the cross-cutting nature of the work.  Workers made reference to the need to ‘juggle too many balls' or ‘spin too many plates at once'.  They spoke of ‘wearing lots of different hats' and the complexity of ‘working with different voices'.  There was a real sense of people being pulled in a number of different and sometimes opposing directions; a set of challenges which will be familiar to anyone who might be considered a ‘boundary spanner' (Williams 2002). 

Other key issues were around hidden agendas, lack of clarity in what is expected of the role and tokenism; with one worker describing ‘being parachuted in to rubber stamp things'.   For some the role felt unstable, reflecting temporary or part-time contracts and ‘inadequate resources'.  One worker felt they were precariously ‘standing on tip-toes'; another in a state where they felt they were ‘about to be rained on'. Most could identify with the ambient fear of getting things wrong.

Two statements from the meeting stand out for me. When asked to describe a picture they had drawn of themselves in role, one person said "I'm trying to push the main door open when it seems that service users and carers are only allowed in through a little door that is open at the side!'. Whatever progress may already have been made in involving service users and carers in education and engaging with communities, ‘pushing the main door open' can be a major task. The second image relates to tensions involved in work that breaks new ground. "It's a challenge" one worker said "not being a this or a that"; with colleagues always seeming able to assert much clearer, established and accepted role identities.

Supported by the Mental Health in Higher Education (mhhe) project, but with a remit that goes beyond mental health, the DUCIE network meets two to three times a year and has proved a means for the sharing of expertise and experience between those employed in development worker roles. 

 

Blog Posts

Service user and carer involvement in education - 2019 publications

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 29, 2019 at 15:26 0 Comments

I have compiled a list, with abstracts, of recent articles on this topic. 

Download here

Creating Worlds Worth Living In - call for papers

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 20, 2019 at 14:39 0 Comments

Call for papers for the fourth conference of the Critical Suicide Studies Conference, to be held in Vancouver, 12-13 June 2020.



Deadline is 3 January 2020.

FURTHER…

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Critical Voices Network Ireland – Presentations

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 20, 2019 at 14:38 0 Comments





See here for streamed presentations from the Critical Voices Network conference in Cork this month. 

View the…

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Student wellbeing series

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 20, 2019 at 14:37 0 Comments

Trigger, the mental wellbeing publisher, have produced a student wellbeing series.  See link for further details and please post here if you have any views on these books to share with others.

Find out more. 

Mental Health: are all students being properly supported?

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 5, 2019 at 13:30 0 Comments

New Office for Students publication.

'More students than ever are reporting mental health conditions. This brief asks what approaches are being taken across the higher education sector to support them, and what more can be done. Using data available for the first time from the OfS’s access and participation dataset, it explores the outcomes and needs of students with declared mental health conditions. We consider whether universities and colleges are doing enough…

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MadLove take over

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 5, 2019 at 13:30 0 Comments

Labelled as the suicide capital of England and Wales, where one person is dying every week, St Helens needs some love, it needs some Madlove…

For the month of November 2019 James, the vacuum cleaner, is combining his own utopian mental health design project, …

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Student mental health and wellbeing in higher education: a practical guide

Posted by Jill Anderson on November 5, 2019 at 13:00 0 Comments

Good mental health is essential for students to manage the challenges that university life presents. This book offers pragmatic guidance to support academic and student services staff in engaging with this critical issue, both in terms of being proactive within their role to promote a positive approach to wellbeing, and understanding how to care…

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'What can non-clinical universal approaches to student mental health achieve?': Funding call

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 21, 2019 at 13:53 0 Comments

SMaRteN are pleased to invite proposals for small research projects to investigate non-clinical and universal approaches to improving student mental health.



A whole university approach should consider how all aspects of university life impact upon student mental health. In considering non-clinical and universal interventions we have the opportunity to look up-stream and investigate how the context within which students’ study may be adapted to reduce the risk of…

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Asylum back catalogue goes online

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 21, 2019 at 13:49 0 Comments

Back issues of Asylum magazine, from 2010-2018 are now freely available on the Asylum website as downloadable pdfs.  A great resource for use in teaching.



More recent issues will go up after 12 months has…

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