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Integrating for Impact

The Centre for Social Futures (SoFu) has already established ten active research groups to increase and promote dynamic relationships, information sharing, and develop integrated projects across communities.

Under the directorship of Professor Paul Crawford, SoFu is seeking to transform how mental health service users, carers and professionals work together in a new community of understanding. Rooted in the fundamental importance of mutual recovery, each of the ten SoFu integrated research groups are made up of academics, service users and healthcare staff. They are actively building networks around ten key areas of mental health:

  • Arts, Recovery and Well-being led by Dr Victoria Tischler (IMH)
  • Greening the Mind (Greencare and recovery through green spaces) led by Drs Jonathan Cope and Rex Heigh (University of Nottingham and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Performing Arts led by Dr Gary Winship (University of Nottingham)
  • Family Violence and Impact on Mental Health led by Dr Julie McGarry (University of Nottingham
  • Supporting Recovery in Mental Health Services led by Dr Julie Repper (Notts Healthcare
  • Therapeutic Environments led by Dr Melanie Jordan (University of Nottingham)
  • Mental Health Language and Communication led by Professor Hugh Middleton (University of Nottingham)
  • Critical Theory and Methodology led by Professor Brian Brown (IMH/ De Montfort University
  • Service user/open dialogue led by Caroline Fox and Julie Gosling (Open Dialogue and Making Waves
  • Children and Young People's Focused Group by Dr Laurence Baldwin (IMH/ Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust).

Professor Crawford said: "The SoFu Centre will address important issues about how we approach the care, treatment and support of people experiencing mental health difficulties.

"Everyone connected to SoFu strongly believes that 'integrated impact' will be central to the continued success of mental health research in the UK. Integrated impact means that impact mustn't just be about the way mental health practice has changed. For real impact to be achieved, we must also incorporate, or integrate, how mental health practices and public ideas inform and shape the Institute of Mental Health and its work."

The work of SoFu benefits from a core membership who have held over £13m in research grants relevant to this theme, not least a recent £1.5m Arts and Humanities Research Council grant called Creative Practices, Mutual Recovery, a highly collaborative programme examining how creative practice in the arts and humanities can promote and support 'mutual recovery' in terms of mental health and well-being.

To find out more or get involved email Paul Crawford: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.