One of the many benefits of working in academia is collaborating on creative activities
I began working at Manchester Met towards the end of 2015, where I was given the exciting job of developing a postgraduate programme for graduates and practitioners aspiring to develop their knowledge and skills relating to mental health research and practice. With the support of our Heads of Department, our programme team and provision has expanded year on year. Our team of clinical, counselling, health, experimental and research psychologists now deliver four Masters degrees and a new Professional Doctorate, which is due to start in January 2020.
Seeing our students grow and flourish over the time they are with us is an honour. The transition to postgraduate study can often be a challenge, which makes their successes all the more impressive. It is especially rewarding when our graduates continue to work with us, either as colleagues in the department or as fellow researchers.
As a practitioner and researcher, there are many benefits to working at Manchester Met. It is a privilege to work alongside such a passionate, inspiring and supportive team within an environment that embraces social justice principles and the real-world impact of research. Further, my part-time post gives me the flexibility to maintain a good life-work balance (most of the time!), as well as to continue my clinical practice.
One of the many benefits of working in academia is collaborating on creative activities, such as conferences, research networks and teams, media features, and publishing the occasional book. While my research often explores the intricacies of people’s experience of trauma-related distress and engagement with services, knowledge exchange activities offer an opportunity for a broader perspective and further collaboration with people working in our field.
Through a recent research project, the team and I have been lucky enough to bring together youth-led research, partnership working and a wide range of knowledge exchange activities. Colleagues at the University of Manchester, Professor Rebecca Lawthom of Manchester Met, and I developed the Young Voices Study in 2017. The study aims to provide a platform for young people experiencing voices and visions to share their experiences and inform the evidence-base and related service provisions. Although academic publications and clinical innovations are a crucial part of our work, reducing stigma and challenging societal assumptions about voice hearing is arguably the most important ‘intervention’ that can come from this research. The BBC have been particularly supportive in terms of disseminating information from the study and the short film we made for the Victoria Derbyshire show is currently shortlisted for the Mind Media Awards at the end of November. On the same night as the Mind Awards, a team of us from Manchester Met will be attending the Times Higher Education Awards, as the Young Voices Study has been shortlisted for the Research Project of the Year within the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences category. We were delighted the study was shortlisted and are very much looking forward to the awards night! Fingers crossed!