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

Unlearning through Mad Studies: disruptive pedagogical praxis

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 26, 2020 at 19:00 0 Comments

Medical discourse currently dominates as the defining framework for madness in educational praxis. Consequently, ideas rooted in a mental health/illness binary abound in higher learning, as both curriculum content and through institutional procedures that reinforce structures of normalcy. While madness, then, is included in university spaces, this inclusion proceeds in ways that continue to pathologize madness and disenfranchise mad people.

This paper offers Mad…

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Stepchange: mentally healthy universities

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:48 0 Comments

Earlier this year, UUK published a refreshed version of its strategic framework, Stepchange: mentally healthy universities, calling on universities to prioritise the mental health of their students and staff by taking a whole university approach to mental health.

The Stepchange approach and shared set of principles inform the …

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Think Ahead gets funding to boost its intake.

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:41 0 Comments

Fast-track mental health social work provider Think Ahead will expand its intake by 60% from next year following a government funding boost of at least £18m.

The Department of Health and Social Care has agreed a contract with Think Ahead to increase the number of trainees for its 2021 and 2022 cohorts from 100 to 160, with…

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Transforming Mental Health Social Work videos

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:39 0 Comments

Health Education England has commissioned 11 videos centered on real-life experience of specialists in the social work field.

See the video playlist.

Transforming mental health social work - conference report

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:37 0 Comments

In February 2020 Health Education England and Skills for Care put on two major conferences about the role and development of mental health social work. 

Download the conference report.

Leadership in mental health social work - web pages

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:33 0 Comments

A section of the Skills for Care website has been developed for mental health social workers and AMHPs

View the web pages here.

Social work education and training in mental health, addictions and suicide: a scoping review protocol

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:29 0 Comments

Social workers are among the largest group of professionals in the mental health workforce and play a key role in the assessment of mental health, addictions and suicide. Most social workers provide services to individuals with mental health concerns, yet there are gaps in research on social work education and training programmes. The objective of this open access scoping review is to examine literature on social work education and training in mental health, addictions and…

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Mental health nurse education: perceptions, access and the pandemic

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:25 0 Comments

With World Mental Health Day this Saturday, a new Nuffield Trust report discusses how more people might be attracted to apply to study mental health nursing, and the reasons why they might currently be less likely to do so.

Co-author Claudia Leone picks out some  key findings.

Laying foundations: Attitudes and access to mental health nurse education

Posted by Jill Anderson on October 16, 2020 at 15:00 0 Comments

Laying foundations: Attitudes and access to mental health nurse education

Mental health nursing is a vital and varied profession, accounting for over a third of the mental health workforce in England. Yet the numbers choosing to study to join the profession are…

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