Category Archives: Seminars

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!

Visit of Chief Social Workers to York: 9th May

On Friday 9th May the Chief Social Workers will be visiting York. Isabelle Trowler and Lyn Romeo provide leadership for the profession to drive forward the improvement and reform programme for social work and it will be a pleasure to welcome them to York.

They will be meeting with social work staff, students and practice educators at the University of York in the morning. In the afternoon they will be attending an open seminar jointly organised by the International Centre for Mental Health Social Research and Making Research Count. This seminar has an open invitation to practitioners in the region (and beyond) to come and meet the Chief Social Workers.

The afternoon seminar begins with presentations from two social work PhD students from ICMHSR. Tracee Green will talk about her research on parenting assessments and Jonny Lovell will talk about his study on self-disclosure by practitioners in mental health services. Both are experienced practitioners whose studies have arisen from practice-based questions, highlighting the contribution to social work research which practitioners can make.

The second part of the session will be an interactive dialogue with the Chief Social Workers about their role. This will feature a panel discussion with Social Work  Directors from across the region.

There are still places available at this seminar. Please click here to find out how you can book your place.

Community Treatment Orders: Effectiveness, Understanding and Impact

Community Treatment Orders (CTOs) were one of the most controversial amendments made to the Mental Health Act 1983. In 2008 England and Wales joined Scotland and around 70 different jurisdictions around the world in obliging people to adhere to treatment in the community. The rationale is usually to prevent relapse or provide a less restrictive alternative to hospital for ‘revolving-door patients’ with severe and enduring mental illness. However, despite their widespread use, the evidence for their effectiveness is limited.

Last year the Oxford Community Treatment Order Evaluation Trial (OCTET), the first major evaluation of CTOs in England and Wales, reported its findings. This randomised controlled trial found that the same number of people on CTOs were readmitted to hospital as those on section 17 leave of absence. The extra restrictions placed on people on a CTO did not appear to reduce their readmission rate, as was originally envisaged when the orders were first introduced.

Running alongside the randomised controlled trial was an extensive qualitative study which explored patient, consultant and family carer experiences. Findings from this study may help to explain some of the results of the trial. We are pleased to welcome OCTET researchers at our next International Centre for Mental Health Social Research seminar on 12th February to discuss these emergent findings.

In three interlinked presentations, OCTET researchers will present findings and research in progress from the OCTET programme of work:

  • Jorun Rugkåsa will present an up-to-date review of the evidence for the effectiveness of CTOs (including OCTET) and OCTET’s main findings, and discuss the implications of these and the wider current evidence base for the future of CTOs.
  • Krysia Canvin will present findings from the qualitative arm. She will juxtapose consultants’ and patients’ interpretations of the CTO’s powers to consider the implications for patients’ experiences and the predictability of CTOs.
  • Francis Vergunst will present his ongoing DPhil research in which he is exploring the effect of CTOs on patients’ longer-term social outcomes by assessing patients’ social inclusion, social networks, and capabilities/quality of life.

The seminar will be held from 12 noon to 1.00pm at the University of York and is free and open to all. Further information can be found on our events page.