Our underlying commitment is to ensure that UCLan research brings benefit to patients and vulnerable people, who are diagnosed, supported and cared for, or at risk, because of mental health needs.
Through research UCLan aims:
Mental Health Research at UCLan (MHRU) is an interdisciplinary group, which brings together interested and active parties who focus their research endeavours in the area of mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan. MHRU provides a focus for research and research leadership in mental health across the University. It promotes a co-ordinated and collaborative approach both within UCLan and with external partners, including service users, professionals in health and social care and the wider community.
A key aspect of the groups research involves working with vulnerable people and communities, mental health in aging populations, coercion and safety, service user involvement and partnership working including advocacy. Professor Joy Duxbury chairs the MHRU and oversees the Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing.
The Centre focuses upon key research and policy agendas including:
Whilst philosophically informed, much of our research has direct implications for system development from policy to practice including therapeutic interventions and the roles and relationships that promote good service delivery. We examine the development and evaluation of new ways of working and different approaches to and models of care, with emphasis upon service user collaboration.
We also examine conceptual and evaluative complexities at the heart of mental healthcare. Projects include:
An example of our commitment to practical improvements in mental healthcare is reflected in research on the causes and management of patient aggression, which has resulted in the development of an attitude scale to explore staff and patient perspectives.
The Management of Aggression and Violence Attitude Scale has been translated into a number of languages and has been adopted in a variety of clinical areas including the forensic, older people and general hospital setting. It has resulted in collaborative research in America, Canada and Australia and with the European Violence in Psychiatry Research Group.
A key area focuses on service users’ and carers’ experiences including the funding of a Community Engagement and Service User and Carer Support project, which attracts international recognition. We provide advice, support and training for mental health service user researchers. Following a successful funded research project from the DH members of our team inform the government on policy for advocacy services.
Research in this group is strongly collaborative; we are committed to developing partnerships reflected in recent conjoint grant applications and successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships examining primary care trust commissioning and ethnicity and health issues pertaining to in-patient care.
A member of our team has been awarded, with colleagues, an Arts and Health Practice Award 2011 by the Royal Society for Public Health.