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

Asylum 26.2 is out now

Posted by Jill Anderson on June 6, 2019 at 23:08 0 Comments

The latest issue of Asylum magazine is out now. See HERE for further details and a couple of sample articles.

Think Ahead Programme - Independent evaluation

Posted by Jill Anderson on May 1, 2019 at 7:52 0 Comments

The Think Ahead social work qualifying programme was launched in 2016, with the aim of providing a new, mental health focused route into the social work profession in partnership with employer organisations. 

An independent evaluation has just been published, based on the experience of the programme over its first two years. 

READ THE…

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Mad Studies group - Birmingham

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 18, 2019 at 10:30 0 Comments

Are you a Lived Experience Practitioner (LXP)? (Mad) Academic? Student? Clinician? Service User? Carer?

 All welcome! 

‘Mad Studies’ is a field of scholarship, theory, and activism about the lived experiences, history, cultures, and politics about people who may identify as 'Mad', mentally ill,…

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Engaging with Voices videos

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 12, 2019 at 20:30 0 Comments

These 15 videos were created by Elisabeth Svanholmer, Charlie Heriot-Maitland and Rufus May. Filming and editing by John Richardson and his team  

The Engaging with Voices videos are intended as inspiration and support for people interested in compassionate…

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RE:CREATE psychiatry

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 11, 2019 at 21:23 0 Comments

The UK mental healthcare system is deemed by many to be failing its users, and lauded by many more as one of the best in the world. As a community of people who have journeyed through mental ill-health and well-being, we at Mental Fight Club have contemplated standards of care both abysmal and outstanding. Now, we want to instigate new thinking stemming from our collective…

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Supporting student mental health in higher education - new book

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 10, 2019 at 8:18 0 Comments

Supporting Student Mental Health in Higher Education

by Samuel Stones and Jonathan Glazzard

April 2019  2144pp   ISBN 9781912508778   



Student mental health is a key consideration in higher education with recent reports identifying a major gap in provision by universities and how ill-equipped…

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My name is Rachel: Radio programme

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 8, 2019 at 21:32 0 Comments

Rachel Waddingham hears voices. The first time she heard them she was lying in a bed. “You’re so stupid”, “they are watching you”, “it would be much better if you just ended it all”. She was also convinced she was being watched, that she was at the centre of a conspiracy. She ended up dropping out of university and eventually was admitted to a psychiatric unit. “I began to hear the alien speak to me, and that alien told me that I was a murderer, that it could control me, that it was going to…

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Spaces of Mental Health: Call for papers

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 1, 2019 at 14:32 0 Comments

This is an interdisciplinary session “Spaces of Mental Health” in the 8th European Conference on Mental Health October 2nd-4th in Belfast, UK.



Space has long been interest across disciplines such as history, geography, sociology, health studies,criminology, architecture and nursing studies. The meaning ascribed to space often varies between

disciplines. This session emphasizes the theme of the conference “breaking down the boundaries” by inviting participants from different…

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Mad in the UK - podcasts

Posted by Jill Anderson on April 1, 2019 at 14:30 0 Comments

A range of audiovisual resources which may be of use in teaching. 

See HERE.

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