York St John University - Research for Occupation and Mental Health
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The Bridge                                                      Issue 24

Bridging the gap between research and practice

For those of us in the northern hemisphere summer has finally arrived and I really felt summery as I walked around the gardens at Buckingham Palace in the sunshine on July 1st,  but more of that later. The RCOMH team at York St John University have plans for holidays over the next few weeks and would like to wish those of you also about to take a holiday an enjoyable break. 
Buckingham Palace
This month three colleagues associated with RCOMH had the pleasure of attending a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London in honour of the Princess Royal, who is celebrating her 60th birthday in August. The Princess Royal is Patron of the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) and 24 occupational therapists linked to the College were invited to attend with other people from a wide range of charities and organisations supported by the Princess.  Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett (Deputy Director of RCOMH and COT Council Member for International Affairs), Mary Booth (retiring Council Member for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities and an RCOMH founding partner from Tees, Esk and Wear Valley) and Naomi Hankinson (Chair of COT Council and one of our key speakers at the recent RCOMH international launch in Chile) were able to spend a few minutes talking with Princess Anne during the event and the sun shone all afternoon. 


The value of attending conferences to developing networks and research teams
Associate Professor Louise Farnsworth of Monash University and co-lead of the RCOMH research programme Occupation and Mental Health in Forensic and Prison Services reflects on the importance of presenting research and attending conferences.

Read her reflections »

Dr Jane Cronin-Davis, from Leeds Metropolitan University, reports that the 10th International Forensic Mental Health Services Conference was held in Vancouver in May this year. There were a number of occupational therapists and a student who attended the Conference from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It was an excellent conference and there were a number of well received occupational therapy papers and poster presentations. There were also a number of presentations which could have also been considered within the remit of occupational therapy/occupation-focused practice in forensic settings. It is important that occupational therapy continues to represented at this important conference to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of the profession/practice in forensic mental health.

Dr Jane Cronin-Davis was approached regarding the possibility of an occupational therapy sub-group/fringe meeting to be held at the next conference which will be held in 2011, in Barcelona, Spain. This opportunity will be explored further with Dr Mike Doyle from the University of Manchester.

Spotlight on research
This month Dr. Alison Laver-Fawcett, Deputy Director of RCOMH and Senior Lecturer at York St. John University, reviews a qualitative study conducted in Canada and Australia by Terry Krupa, Harriet Woodside and Karen Pocock.  This research explored activity and social participation in the period following a first episode of psychosis in a sample of 25 people aged between 18 and 39 years.

Read this month's review »

Postgraduate network of supervisors and examiners for mental health
In a relatively small and emerging field of study it can sometimes be challenging to find a supervisor with similar interests and experience or examiners with appropriate expertise. We are hoping to develop a 'one stop shop' on the RCOMH website to connect colleagues around the globe and help facilitate the development of post-graduate research related to occupational and mental health through effective supervisory relationships and robust examination. Therefore, RCOMH is developing a directory of researchers who can offer post-graduate supervision and examination in the field of occupation and mental health. If you have experience of supervising students undertaking PhD, MPhil or Masters by research and / or have served as an internal or external examiner at this level and would like to be added to our directory please send your contact details and a summary of your experience and interests to us at rcomh@yorksj.ac.uk.  We are also happy to include web links in your summary to link people searching the directory to additional information for potential post-graduate students or for colleagues wishing to identify appropriate examiners in this field. 


Hilary Williams, Chair of the RCOMH Steering Group, and Dr Katrina Bannigan, Director of RCOMH, recently presented a well received peer reviewed paper on ‘Increasing research into occupational practice by developing international research centres’ at the College of Occupational Therapists National conference in Brighton.

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