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

Independent review of the Mental Health Act: A summary of the interim report

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 15, 2018 at 14:57 0 Comments

This useful briefing, on the NHS Confederation website, summarises key points from the interim report for Mental Health Network members.  View the briefing.

The Colour of Madness - new anthology

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 11, 2018 at 19:35 0 Comments

The Colour Of Madness is an anthology led and curated by BAME people which is made up of fiction, poetry, memoirs, essays and art submitted by BAME writers, academics, mental health workers, artists and those still navigating life with mental health problems. It explores the BAME mental health experience in the UK.…



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Language, Discourse and Mental Health - new book series

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 4, 2018 at 11:40 0 Comments

This book series is a unique  resource to further knowledge and understanding of mental health from a pluralistically informed linguistic perspective.

Using qualitative and quantitative approaches to language-based analysis,…

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Medicating me: personal impressions of psychiatric medication

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 2, 2018 at 15:32 1 Comment

A mental health documentary exploring people's encounters with psychiatric medication. It is not giving advice. It is giving a voice. Beyond chemicals, how does the idea of medication function on our identities and upon our view of ourselves?…

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Applied Sociology curriculum launched

Posted by Jill Anderson on May 31, 2018 at 15:36 0 Comments

At the BSA conference in Newcastle last month, the BSA Sociologists outside Academia (SoA) group launched its model curriculum in applied sociology.  This will now be offered free to UK sociology departments, to use within their undergraduate programmes.  It can be downloaded from the curriculum website.

The curriculum is a key element in SoA’s…

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The Rosamund Snow Prize

Posted by Jill Anderson on May 31, 2018 at 10:00 0 Comments

Rosamund Snow (1971-2017) will be remembered by many for her work to champion patients’ involvement in healthcare. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in her teens, Rosamund was later asked to help a consultant at her outpatient clinic investigate its high ‘did not attend’ rate; she explains what she found in this talk, addressing a TED×NHS event in 2016. 
Urging her audience to involve patients in service quality…
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Authenticity to Action - call for papers

Posted by Jill Anderson on May 30, 2018 at 16:41 0 Comments

The 6th International Authenticity to Action Conference will take place on 5-6 March 2019 at the Grange Hotel, Grange-over-Sands on the theme of: 'Inspiring partnerships in co-producing  professional education and practice development'.

This exciting two-day conference will celebrate the involvement of patients, service users and carers in Health, Social…

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Asylum 25.2 - out now!

Posted by Jill Anderson on May 30, 2018 at 14:43 0 Comments

The latest issue of Asylum magazine is now out. It opens with an article by @validconsent which underlines the profound challenges involved in the notion of ‘democratic psychiatry’.  How does one provide a safe space for challenging and diverse opinions to be expressed: at a conference; on a psychiatric ward; on social media; or in the pages of amagazine?   Those questions go to the very heart of Asylum’s collective struggle.  They are crucial for those involved…

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Mindfulness in mental health and prison settings - free course

Posted by Jill Anderson on May 28, 2018 at 20:03 0 Comments

This free course, Mindfulness in mental health and prison settings, looks at the use of mindfulness in counselling and forensic settings. You will start by learning a bit more about the concept of mindfulness and how it can be understood and applied. You will then consider the different ways in which mindfulness can be integrated into therapy sessions, and what the benefits of these might be. After this, you will explore some of the specific ways in which…

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Building critical bridges - Call for papers

Posted by Jill Anderson on May 28, 2018 at 20:00 0 Comments

The 3rd Conference of the Critical Suicide Studies Network (a.k.a. CritSui3), will be held in Perth WA at the University of Western Australia from 12-13 December 2018.  This conference, the first to be held in the southern hemisphere, builds on prior Critical Suicide Studies conferences in Prague, Czech Republic (2016) and Canterbury, UK (2017), turning the attention to networking, impact and engagement…
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