Monthly Archives: June 2014

Sharing lived experience: how personal is ‘personal’?

Practitioners sometimes share things about themselves with the people they work with; sometimes personal things, sometimes non-personal, everyday things. But which ones are which? How personal is ‘personal’?

The International Centre for Mental Health Social Research and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are undertaking research on sharing lived experience by mental health practitioners with service users. As part of that, we’d like to know how ‘personal’ different types of information are considered to be. So we are asking volunteers to complete a short questionnaire.

Several other studies have graded disclosures according to how personal the information being shared is. However, some research suggests views change over time, so it may be the case that people nowadays are more open about themselves, and see information about themselves as less personal than they would have done in the past. Since there are no studies that have rated disclosures according to how personal they are in the UK, in recent years, with the professionals that the current study is engaging with, it is necessary to construct a new scale.

If you want to take part, you’ll be asked to rate different things that a practitioner might share with a service user, according to how personal you think they are. If you are involved in social work or social care, whether in mental health services or otherwise, please consider taking part in this survey.

The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete and you could win a £20 Amazon gift voucher.

You can take part on-line by clicking here.

Further information about the study is available from the Chief Investigator, Jonny Lovell, by email: Also, you can keep up to date with the study by visting Jonny’s blog.

Thank you!

Public lecture and launch on 24th June

We are approaching the end of our first year in the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research (ICMHSR) at the University of York and we would like to share a few aspects of our work and invite you to join us on Tuesday 24th June for our public launch.

ICMHSR was provided with start-up funding by the University of York a year ago to bring together collaborators from Australia, India, Europe and the US. The collaboration explores the role of social problems in the cause and course of mental health problems and aims to develop and evaluate innovative ways of tackling them. This includes validating research tools for use in different cultures, supporting local practice-based research, and evaluating approaches such as working with social networks and communities. ICMHSR researchers aim to share knowledge across boundaries with the potential for global impact.

Over the last year, we have:

  • brought together 34 researchers and 9 PhD students from several departments at the University of York who have research interests in this field. More can be found about our internal collaborators here.
  • brought together international collaborators to create the International Inclusion and Connected Communities Collaborative (I2C3). Our activities have included joint conference presentations, drafting of a position paper and grant applications. More about ICMHSR’s international collaborators can be found here.
  • funded a PhD studentship on practitioner disclosure of mental health problems from which we are developing a parallel study in Australia to facilitate international comparison. More information about this study can be found here, including an opportunity to take part in the study.
  • obtained funding from C2D2 and the Maudsley Charity to undertake feasibility and scoping work in Sierra Leone for social intervention training in the country’s nascent mental health services. A recent update on this study can be found here.
  • collaborated with Mindapples and other partners to obtain funding from Guys and St Thomas’ Charity and Comic Relief to evaluate pilots of the Mindapples mental effectiveness training. Our Mindapples tree is still up in the reception of the Department of Social Policy and Social Work if you are in York and would like to share your Mindapples.
  • collaborated with colleagues in the Department of Health Sciences on a C2D2-funded project to develop a measure of psychosocial health for people displaced by humanitarian crisis.
  • obtained additional funding from the NIHR School for Social Care Research to produce training materials for the Connecting People Intervention, which have been viewed and used in many countries. These can be found here.
  • hosted regular seminars and events at the University of York and in collaboration with Making Research Count. Information about our news and events can be found here.

Our priority over the next few years is to continue to submit funding applications for multi- and cross-national research which contributes to the evidence base for practice in the UK and across the world. Updates about our work can be found on this blog, which you can subscribe to if you are interested in finding out more.

Public launch

Lynette Joubert

On Tuesday 24th June at 6.15pm we are holding our first public lecture which will be given by one of our international collaborators, Associate Professor Lynette Joubert from the University of Melbourne, Australia – ‘Improving mental health through understanding our social context’. Dr Joubert will discuss recent research that defines and analyses the importance of managing both risk and opportunity in social networks to promote emotional well-being. She will report on a social network intervention (CHIERS) which reduced representations for deliberate self harm at emergency by 58%, suicide ideation by 37% and depression by 25%. This public lecture is free, though you will need to obtain a free ticket online to reserve your place. Please click here for additional information and to book your place.

We will be holding an informal wine reception after the lecture to mark the public launch of ICMHSR. If you are interested in our work and able to come along, it will be great to see you there!