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:

  • DUCIE guidelines for the employment of service user and carer involvement workers in higher education.
  • Ian Light Award for work in pairs
  • DUCIE jiscmail discussion list (with 60+ members)

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

Mental health and neoliberalism - video of New School of Economics event

Posted by Jill Anderson on February 10, 2018 at 22:23 0 Comments

Can today's crisis in mental health be seen as the result of neoliberalism? We asked the panelists to reflect on the aftermath of the 2007/08 financial crisis and the austerity policies which followed, but then to engage with how the slashing of expenditure on public services and increase in private debt has been met with questions around whether these factors are exacerbating mental health problems. This event titled, ‘Mental Health and Neoliberalism’, sought to situate the growing…

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Afflicted: how vulnerability can heal medical education and practice

Posted by Jill Anderson on February 7, 2018 at 22:47 0 Comments

In Afflicted, Nicole Piemonte examines the preoccupation in medicine with cure over care, arguing that the traditional focus on biological intervention keeps medicine from addressing the complex realities of patient suffering. Although many have pointed to the lack of compassion and empathy in medical practice, few have considered the deeper philosophical, psychological, and ontological reasons for it. Piemonte fills that gap, examining why it is that…

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The effect - radio play

Posted by Jill Anderson on February 7, 2018 at 13:56 0 Comments

The Effect -  Drama on 3 - by Lucy Prebble.
Starring Jessie Buckley, Christine Entwisle, Damien Molony and Samuel West.
"I can tell the difference between who I am and a side effect."
Award-winning chemical romance. 
Connie (Jessie Buckley - 'The Last Post', 'Taboo') and Tristan (Damien Molony - 'Crashing', 'Being Human') are taking part…
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While your back was turned: the mental health of young women and girls.

Posted by Jill Anderson on February 2, 2018 at 18:10 0 Comments

The mental health of young women and girls is deteriorating, and the gap between men and women has widened over recent years. As the evidence section in this paper will show, the last 15 years have seen an unprecedented rise in reported mental health problems amongst young women and girls. We now see their needs reaching crisis levels.…

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Mental Health Act – The rise in the use of the MHA to detain people in England

Posted by Jill Anderson on January 24, 2018 at 17:52 0 Comments

This report looks at causes for the rise in use of the Mental Health Act (MHA) to detain people.

The rise in the use of the MHA to detain people in England report cover image

National data shows an increasing use of the Mental Health Act (MHA) to treat people in hospitals.

In 2016, the CQC committed to working with local services to gather views on the reasons for the national increase in the use of the MHA, to identify how local services are responding to the changing activity, and to…

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Social policy first hand: An international introduction to participatory social welfare - new book

Posted by Jill Anderson on January 24, 2018 at 11:55 0 Comments

Social Policy First Hand is the first comprehensive international social policy text from a participatory perspective and presents a new service user-led social policy that addresses the current challenges in welfare provision. A companion volume to Peter Beresford's bestselling All our welfare, it introduces the voices of different groups of service users, starting from their lived experience. With an impressive list of contributors, this important volume fills a gap in looking at…

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Asylum magazine - events calendar

Posted by Jill Anderson on January 23, 2018 at 18:54 0 Comments

Asylum magazine has a new events calendar.  You can view it here.

UMHAN blog - writers wanted

Posted by Jill Anderson on January 23, 2018 at 18:52 0 Comments

University Mental Health Advisers Network.

Are you interested in in HE? Do you like writing and are passionate about sharing your opinion? Look no further. The Blog is…

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With children in mind: current research and policy developments on mental health and young people

Posted by Jill Anderson on January 23, 2018 at 15:30 0 Comments

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Public Mental Health

Expected publication in 2019 as Volume 18, Issue 1.



Guest Editors: 


Gill Coverdale, Co-editor of JPMH and Royal College of Nursing, UK gillcov17@gmail.com…

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Psychology and Mental Health - beyond nature and nurture

Posted by Jill Anderson on January 21, 2018 at 11:45 0 Comments

Psychological therapies and the work of clinical psychologists are now very popular. This free online course provides an introduction to how psychologists understand emotions, behaviours and thinking patterns, and how this helps clinical psychologists make sense of their clients’ problems.

Over six weeks, you will explore some of the current challenges and debates in the area of diagnosis and treatment, and discover new ways of thinking psychologically about mental health.

You…

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