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

Cultural Perspectives on Mental Wellbeing: spiritual interpretations of symptoms in medical practice

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 26, 2017 at 16:15 0 Comments

As human migration brings an ever more diverse range of people, cultures and beliefs into contact, Western medical systems must adapt to cater for the different approaches it encounters towards illness, the body, gender, mental health and death.

Based upon training courses taught by the author to staff at hospitals, mental health professionals, and on degree courses, this complete resource provides an essential foundation for understanding the complex and manifold approaches to…

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Socioeconomic factors and mental health: call for contributions

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 26, 2017 at 15:30 0 Comments

Palgrave Communications is an open access journal published by Palgrave Macmillan dedicated to publishing high quality original research across all areas of the humanities and social sciences. Article proposals…

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HEA Practice Education Special Interest Group

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 26, 2017 at 8:12 0 Comments

Practice Education plays a vital role in providing experiential and work based learning to thousands of health and social care students across the UK. With such an important role in the education of future health and social care professionals the HEA are delighted to announce this inaugural meeting of the Practice Education Special Interest Group. The aims of the group is to support those educators who are responsible for the design, co-ordination and delivery of practice based education.…

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Practice Learning: Formats, Challenges and Solutions across the disciplines - online chat

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 26, 2017 at 8:11 0 Comments

Earlier this month the HEA health and social care team hosted the inaugural meeting of the Practice Education Special Interest Group. The day was focused on the use of practice learning in the development of health and social care professionals. However during the day we exposed a number of universal issues that carry weight in determining the success of education across the disciplines.

So our #HEAchat on Wednesday 26th April 2017 8pmGMT will try to highlight the…

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Why did I go Mad? - BBC Horizon programme

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 25, 2017 at 19:00 0 Comments

For hundreds of years, psychiatry has treated voices and hallucinations as an enemy - regarding them as 'insanity' or 'madness' and seeing them as something to be quashed and even frightened of. But today, new scientific and psychological insights into how the brain works are leading to a radical rethink on what such experiences are - and how they should be treated.

Horizon follows three people living with voices, hallucinations and…

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Democratising health: service user participation, co-production and advocacy for social justice

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 21, 2017 at 12:48 0 Comments

Special issue call for papers from International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

Guest Editors

Dr Karen Newbigging (lead)

School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham, UK

k.v.newbigging@bham.ac.uk



June Sadd 

Survivor Consultant, Researcher and Trainer 

junesadd@hotmail.co.uk



Dr Tayeb Alhafez 

Medical Officer, Synaptic…

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National Co-production week - 3-7 July 2017

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 13, 2017 at 22:55 0 Comments

Co-production Week will celebrate the benefits of co-production, share good practice and highlight the contribution of people who use services and carers to developing better public services.

Co-production is about working in equal partnership with people using services, carers, families and citizens. Co-production offers the chance to transform social care and health provision to a model that that offers people real choice and control.…

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Re/Visioning Depression: Creative Approaches to “Feeling Bad” - Call for contributions

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 13, 2017 at 16:50 0 Comments

Re/Visioning Depression: Creative Approaches to “Feeling Bad” Edited by Robin Alex McDonald

What is depression? … An “imagined sun, bright and black at the same time?” … A “noonday demon?” … A dead fish? In literature, comics, art, and film, we witness new conceptualizations of depression come into being. Unburdened by diagnostic criteria and pharmaceutical concerns, these media employ imagery, narrative, symbolism, and metaphor to forge imaginative, exploratory, and innovative…

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Building a new community psychology of mental health: spaces, places, people and activities - new book

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 12, 2017 at 12:13 0 Comments

This book provides a much-needed account of informal community-based approaches to working with mental distress. It starts from the premise that contemporary mainstream psychiatry and psychology struggle to capture how distress results from complex embodied arrays of social experiences that are embedded within specific historical, cultural, political and economic settings. The authors challenge mainstream understandings of mental health that position a naive public in need of mental…

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Teaching critical approaches to depression and anxiety when you are depressed and anxious - by Jane EM Callaghan

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 8, 2017 at 8:30 2 Comments

New blog bost by Jane EM Callaghan: 

"In the many years I have taught mental health, I have always wrestled with a fundamental contradiction. On the one hand, I have a political commitment to an anti-diagnostic, and anti-medicalisation stance. On the other hand, I have struggled life long with anxiety, trauma responses, and depression.

This year, I came to teach my classes on anxiety and depression 9 months into my treatment with duloxetine. This has been a life saving drug for…

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