Blog

Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May)

This event will bring together key academics, politicians and local charities with a focus on mental health and generate a debate around key issues and possible solutions and ways forward.

Approaches towards child MH in the UK need to be seen in the light of the postindustrial neoliberal austerity-context, in which cuts have effected long-term established MH services, whilst at the same time there is lots of publicity around how ‘we are failing our children on this front’ – the likes of Tanya Byron, as well as social media (Guardian) consistently flag up failures in this area (e.g. Byron said that whilst 25% of children in the UK have a mental health issues, only 6% of the health budget is dedicated to this).

Sceptics on the other hand (‘Spiked’) argue that an over-focus on MH is counter-productive and that we have to be careful with how we define MH illness; add to that the fact that women are diagnosed far more often than men (potentially down to doctor/gp/diagnostic bias), altogether creating the need for a debate around these issues and find ways to inform and improve practice.

More information can be found at:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mental-health-awareness-event-tickets-31962011236

Seminar: Engaging Family Narratives; Children’s Lives at home and school

28th June 2017, 1:00 – 2:30pm, Portland Building, Room 1.66

Emma Maynard, Senior Lecturer, School of Education and Childhood Studies

Abstract:

This is a doctoral research project investigating the narratives of parents and children identified by the child’s school for social intervention. Noting the positioning of these families as “troubled” and “hard to reach” in policy and practice, the narratives explore what matters to individual families.

Parents and children were interviewed separately so as to allow them to explore themes freely, and a loose semi -structured interview enabled conversations to be (largely) led by the participant.

The data reveals an echoing of critical incidents between parent and child, and a retelling of family histories through shared perspectives. However the children also present different observations from their parents, offering new understandings. Unexpectedly, soft data indicates parents placed significant value on telling their story.

Thus the research hypothesises that engaging parents’ narratives could enable greater understanding of children in the context of their family history, and could influence intervention strategies to elicit a more effective outcome.

Book your place: https://secsresearch28062017.eventbrite.co.uk/

Hidden Bellies: The Power of Silence and Invisibility in Managing Pregnancies in Mozambique

30th November 2016, 1:00 – 2:30pm

Dr Francesca Salvi, Lecturer, School of Education and Childhood Studies

Abstract:

Decree 39/GM/2003, the first national policy to deal with in-school pregnancy in Mozambique, indicates that girls that get pregnant while being registered at school should transfer to night courses. In this seminar Francesca explained why transfer tends to precede dropout, but also discussed the various strategies that girls implemented in order to resist transfer and remain in their day courses. By hiding their bellies, young pregnant women resist current norms and engage in an act of self-assertion. This goes against mainstream theorisations of silence and invisibility, which point to submission and powerlessness.

The School of Education and Childhood Studies hosts regular seminars with a research focus and presentations from internal and external speakers – here is the link to the seminars for 2016/17