I am Professor of Mental Health & Inclusivity in the Division of Psychology & Mental Health in the School of Health Sciences. I am also The University of Manchester’s Academic Lead for Equality Diversity & Inclusion. In part fulfilment of the University’s commitment to Social Responsibility, the remit of my role is to provide academic leadership, direction, advice and support to colleagues involved in the delivery of Equality Objectives across Faculties, Schools & Professional Support Services (PSS). I have a focus on driving Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (ED&I)across a range of aspects, specifically:
- Staff & student recruitment, retention, experience, progression, and attainment
- Teaching & learning
- Supporting the progression of our Athena SWAN and Race Equality Charter Mark action plans
- Supplying recommendations, reports, and advice to the University’s highest level committees
- Providing academic leadership, advice and support to high profile ED&I initiatives
Reflecting my strong commitment to integrating research, policy and practice and to public service, I am actively engaged in working with communities to improve health and wellbeing – especially among those who are marginalised, socially excluded, and experience inferior access to health and care. Formerly, a Non-Executive Director of two NHS Mental Health Trusts in the North West of England, I have also held secondments to the national Care Standards Improvement Partnership (CSIP) and its precursor, the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE). NIMHE was established by the Department of Health (DH) to improve the lives of people who experience mental health problems, to promote mental health and resilience, reduce stigma and tackle inequalities.
I was awarded an NHS North West Doctoral Training Fellowship to undertake a Masters of Research (MRes) in Social Science (Salford, 2000) and PhD in mental health (Manchester, 2003). My postdoctoral research was facilitated by winning a Faculty of Medical & Human Science ‘Stepping Stones’ Award (University of Manchester, 2006-2010).
My research emanates from a passion to reduce inequalities in access, care, and outcomes experienced by under-served communities. I am particularly interested in improving understanding of:
- Intersections between determinants of health and illness such as ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status and mental health
- Interrelationship between mental and physical health and wellbeing
- Individual and community-level strategies for building resilience and managing psychological distress
- Factors that influence individuals’ abilities to access appropriate support, care and treatment for mental health problems
Theory development in these areas is central to taking a life-course approach to providing more accessible services and developing interventions that meet the differing needs of all sectors of the population.