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

The Continuing Education Course on Withdrawal from Psychiatric Drugs

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 17, 2017 at 9:01 0 Comments

This series of seven webinars will feature presentations by people with “expertise by lived experience,” psychiatrists, and other professionals. The educational purpose of the series is to present information and insights that arise:

  • from users’ experiences and their efforts to support others who want to taper from their psychiatric medications; research on drug withdrawal
  • the clinical experience of psychiatrists and other professionals who have supported patients…
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Stress, mental wellbeing and the health, social care and education workforce

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 11, 2017 at 13:00 2 Comments

Recently updated resource sheet is available HERE

Please let me know if you have links to add. 

Three short films about depression.

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 11, 2017 at 8:58 0 Comments

Linda Gask is the author of The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir of Depression - an 'amazing story of both sides of mental health – the sufferer and the professional- and just how thin that wall actually is' (Annie Watkinson).

Video producer …

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Developing a National Forum for Trainee / Qualified Psychologists with Lived Experience of Psychological Distress

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 10, 2017 at 20:30 0 Comments

Natalie Kemp is setting up this forum.  See HERE for further details. 

Graduate Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace - new report

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 10, 2017 at 13:30 0 Comments

On this World Mental Health Day - 10th of October 2017 - Student Minds have published the first ever report to uncover the wellbeing of young graduates making the transition from university into the workforce.



The report, based off a survey delivered with colleagues at King’s College London and The City Mental Health Alliance, summarises findings from a large survey of over 300 recent graduates, and considers university preparation for the…

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Not by degrees: improving student mental health in the UK's Universities

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 10, 2017 at 12:48 0 Comments

Across the UK, there is a growing appreciation that mental health matters. For individuals, it can affect their ability to learn, earn, form strong and meaningful relationships, and live long and healthy lives. For government, it can affect productivity, demand for public services and levels of expenditure on out-of-work benefits. But as awareness of the importance of maintaining positive mental health continues to grow, and stigma relating to mental illness is slowly chipped away, other…

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The Positive and Mindful University - new report

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 10, 2017 at 12:43 0 Comments

'This report proposes a new way forward for higher education in addressing the problems of mental health among students as well as staff, and helping them achieve higher levels of fulfilment. More than 400,000 staff and 2.2 million students are engaged in higher education in the United Kingdom.

The pamphlet celebrates the diverse and remarkable work that is taking place at British universities. Much of this work is tilted towards offering support once problems have begun to manifest…

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International Journal for Students as Partners - latest issue

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 8, 2017 at 12:00 0 Comments

The second issue of the International Journal for Students as Partners (IJSaP) is available HERE

The journal, which is hosted by McMaster University Library Press, is co-edited by students and staff/ faculty from Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US.

In Issue 2 you will find an editorial, 2 opinion pieces on emotion and partnership, 4 research articles, 3 reflective essays, 3 case…

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Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 5, 2017 at 12:57 0 Comments

The Terms of Reference for the review have been published and can be read HERE.  The review is due to report in Autumn 2018.  Its stated aims are to 'help government create a forward-looking plan of changes to legislation and practice, resulting in an enduring legacy of mental health support.'

Exploring Experience: Bringing Authentic Voices to Mental Health Teaching

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 4, 2017 at 21:30 0 Comments

'Exploring Experience has been developed to create an accessible and manageable resource to support teaching and study in the field of mental health and distress. Six contributors with experiences of significant distress ("Experts by Experience", or EBE) were recruited through an open strategy, and were paid* to prepare the materials on this site. We have collated 35 videos of around ten minutes each, all recording self-edited responses to open questions…

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