York St John University
The Bridge
December 2009

We'd like to hear from you!

This e-bulletin is our main method for communicating with people interested in the work of the Centre so we hope you find it interesting and informative, please feel free to send any feedback or comments about the work of the Centre to

E: RCOMH@yorksj.ac.uk 

hinking of doing a PhD?

If you are thinking about doing a PhD related to occupation and mental health please email RCOMH and we may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help.

For furth
er information about the Centre please visit

www.yorksj.ac.uk/rcomh or E: RCOMH@yorksj.ac.uk

If you know of others who may be interested in our work please forward this to them using the Forward to a friend button below. 

RCOMH logo

Forward this emai to a friend
Bridging the gap between research and practice
Seasons Greetings!  Welcome to the latest edition of the Research Centre for Occupation & Mental Health’s e-bulletin, The Bridge. 

Katrina, Alison, Hannah and Sue, the RCOMH team based at York St John University, would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest and support for RCOMH and to wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful 2010.

Dr Katrina Bannigan, Director of RCOMH
Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett Deputy Director of RCOMH
Hannah Spring and Sue Copeland

Announcing three new research programmes
This month we are devoting the whole of the bulletin to sharing our exciting news.  When the RCOMH Steering group met last month on 25th November, three proposals for research programmes were considered and approved:
  • Arts and creativity
  • Occupation and mental health in forensic and prison services
  • Occupation and Older People’s Mental Health

The existing research programmes within RCOMH are:

  • Occupation, mental health and boredom
  • Work and mental health
  • Occupation and working with people with psychosis living in the community

The purpose of specific research programmes

So why are we focusing the activity within RCOMH around some specific research programmes? The purpose of specific research programmes within RCOMH is to:

  1. Provide leadership for sharing expertise, skills and capacity for a particular research area in order to develop a co-ordinated programme of research
  2. Facilitate communication and collaboration between service users, researchers and practitioners, in order to develop international networks of people involved in similar areas of research
  3. Support researchers to identify priorities for research
  4. Support researchers to submit joint bids and undertake collaborative, multi-disciplinary, multi-site projects.
  5. Scope funding streams for a particular research area.
  6. Make available relevant findings of small projects (including primary studies, literature reviews, students' projects and evaluations by practitioners) in specific research areas to provide background evidence and rationale for developing research bids for further research in the area.
  7.  Support each other with advice and feedback on funding bids and dissemination of research findings.
  8. Submit research and innovation bids to a variety of funding streams, building on smaller projects
  9. Make links with colleagues in related disciplines and with existing networks who have similar research interests
Research programme: Arts and creativity
The aim of this research programme is to bring together and establish collaborations between researchers, practitioners and service users interested in the relationship between Arts, creativity and mental health.

Dr Sarah Cook, Reader at Sheffield Hallam University, is the lead for this research programme. Areas the group is interested to explore are: an occupational science perspective on arts and creativity as occupation; therapeutic engagement in the arts, media and creativity; community development through the arts, media and creativity; thinking and learning creatively; and research methods using creative media.

Dr Sarah Cook
Reader, Sheffield Hallam University

Research programme: Occupation and mental health in forensic and prison services
Assistant Professor Crystal Grass from Dalhousie University in Canada and Associate Professor Louise Farnworth from Monash University in Australia will be jointly leading the research programme in occupation and mental health in forensic services. This research programme aims to build international occupational
therapy networks to facilitate building an evidence base in forensic
and prison mental health practices. The focus is on developing
geographically diverse research groups to support increasing research capacity of individuals as well as enhancing the opportunity to undertake larger, cross cultural studies related to the contribution of occupational therapy to the health and wellbeing of those people with mental illness who are in contact with the criminal justice system.

The research program aims to help locate studies, including publications in non-english language sources, and foster the development of research skills through mentoring and supporting people to frame research questions, apply for local and internationally available research grants, develop protocols for data collection and analysis methods, and facilitate the dissemination of research findings at occupational therapy and relevant social science conferences, and publication in journals.

Associate Professor Louise Farnworth
Monash University Australia

Assistant Professor Crystal Grass
Dalhousie University Canada

Research programme: Occupation and older people’s mental health

Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett, Deputy Director of RCOMH, Senior Lecturer at York St John University and BAOT / COT Council member for International affairs (World Federation of Occupational Therapists delegate),  will be leading this research programme initially. This programme is orientated towards investigating the relationships between occupational engagement and the mental health of people aged 65 years and over, regardless of diagnosis. Areas the group are interested to explore are: social inclusion, occupational engagement and mental health; the impact of occupational engagement on mental health problems secondary to physical disability and / or sensory impairment; and occupational engagement related to spirituality and mental health.

Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett, Deputy Director of RCOMH
Senior Lecturer at York St John University

Reminder: Potential mental health research questions for HTA – please submit your research questions soon!
In the last issue we described a College of Occupational Therapists (COT) initiative with the UK NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme. COT is interested in developing research questions about occupation in the context of mental health. Ahead of the official NIHR HTA call, which we anticipate will come out around January 2010, we are generating research questions related to RCOMH’s six research programmes (boredom, creativity, forensic mental health, older people’s mental health and work). Please continue to send us your research questions, supported by a clear rationale for why it is important. Please also explain how high a priority you believe this question is, with a justification for your priority rating.

Questions and supporting information should be e-mailed to: RCOMH@yorksj.ac.uk, please put ‘HTA’ in the subject line.

Keep us up to date

Did you receive this newsletter via a friend?  Want to receive your own copy? To register, click on the link below and complete our online registration form.


Do we have your correct details?  If anything has changed please complete our online registration form.

York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York, YO31 7EX, UK York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York, YO31 7EX, UK
T: +44 1904 624624  F: +44 1904 612512 Email us
Visit the Website  
learn more about newzapp email marketing This message was sent to @emailaddress@ by York St John University using newzapp email marketing. Follow this link to Unsubscribe.