Researching Education and Mental Health: Where are we now?

Thank you for your interest in this event. There is planned website maintenance this week so unfortunately we cannot take registrations online. Please call the BERA office on 0207 331 5217 to register over the phone for this event.

Mental health is currently a key focus of social policy in Britain, with educational settings increasingly looked to for provision of support in this area. Yet mental health and wellbeing remain relatively under-researched in the education sector. This conference will provide a timely and much needed forum to bring together practitioners, academics, researchers, students and
others with a keen interest in the area of education, mental health and wellbeing. This one-day event offers you opportunities to learn about the latest research, debate key issues, share good practice, and help set a research agenda to drive forward new research across all educational settings, from early years to adult community learning.

A leading expert in the field will open the conference and a diverse and interactive programme will follow. This includes symposia to showcase recent research; parallel roundtable discussions (please pre-book when you register) on pertinent topics such as how we bridge the research to practice gap for evidence-based mental health and wellbeing initiatives, and the impact new responsibilities related to learners’ mental health has on education staff and their wellbeing; a panel discussion on ‘hot topics’ warranting urgent research attention; and poster presentations.



Draft programme

10.00 Registration, refreshments and networking
10.20 Welcome and introduction to the day
10.30 Staff Mental Health – A Systemic Perspective
Sinead McBrearty, Education Support Partnership
11.15 Symposium 1: Researching Mental Health, Well-Being and EducationScoping the landscape: Where are we now?
(3 x oral presentations 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions)
  Paper 1: Self-harm in primary school children: the voices of the educational professionals, parents and children
Sarah Adams, Lecturer Primary Initial Teacher Education, School of Education, University of Leicester
  Paper 2: Mental well-being from adolescence into early adulthood: an analysis of data from the longitudinal survey of young people in England (Next Steps)
Gaynor Attwood, Assistant Vice Chancellor, University of the West of England, Professor Paul Croll FAcSS, University of Reading
  Paper 3: The PGCE journey – well-being and workload
Emma Clarke and Aimee Quickfall, Senior lecturers, School of teacher development
12.15 Lunch (including refreshments) and poster viewing
  Book of Beasties: The mental wellness card game – A pilot study
Michelle Jayman and Annita Ventouris, Lecturers in Education, University of West London
  Adapting a proven socio-emotional intervention to children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
Bronach Hughes, Pyramid Project Co-ordinator at the University of West London
  Exploring the experiences and attitudes of primary school boys towards autistic peers in the mainstream school setting: A focus group study
Alfred Loveland, PhD candidate, University of Surrey
  Let’s talk Technology with boys
Constantina Panourgia, Lecturer in Psychology, Bournemouth University, Associate Professor Jacqui Taylor, Bournemouth University
  Effectiveness of the Super Skills for Life (SSL) programme in enhancing children’s emotional well-being, emotional regulation and cognitive control: a randomized controlled trial study in Mauritius
Karishma Ramdhonee-Dowlot, PhD Candidate, University of Roehampton
  Identifying early risk factors for mental health problems in early adolscents, in those with object naming difficulties at age five
Kathryn Fradley, PhD Researcher, Mancester Metropolitan University
  A Bad Night’s Sleep on Campus: An Interview Study of First Year University Students with Poor Sleep Quality
Lucy Foulkes, Lecturer in Psychology in Education, Department of Education, University of York
  Breaking down boundaries? Exploring mutuality through art-making in an open studio mental health setting
Lydia Lewis, University of Wolverhampton and Helen Spandler, University of Central Lancashire
  Evaluation of a psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy service in a Leeds primary school: Supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing across the school and community
Richard Baron, partner, Research in Dynamic EnvironmentsChristian Moeller, partner, Research in Dynamic Environments
13.00 Symposium 2: Researching Mental Health, Well-Being and Education Tackling the issues: What are we doing? How? Is it working?
(3 x oral presentations 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions)
  Paper 1: Children and young people’s experiences and perceptions of completing mental health measures for research
Ola Demkowicz, Senior Tutor and Doctoral Researcher, University of Manchester Institute of Education
  Paper 2: International mixed methods review of the effectiveness and experiences of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management program: Looking at child and teacher outcomes
Elizabeth Nye, Lecturer, University of Oxford
  Paper 3: Innovative psychoeducation interventions for ‘at-risk’ and socially excluded young people
Andrew Ravenscroft, Professor of Education, University of East London
14.00 Round table discussions – please choose one topic when registering

Topic 1
Interventions and initiatives to promote and support MH and WB for school-aged children: from evidence base to implementation. How do we bridge the research to practice gap?

Whole School Resilience Building Approaches to Promote Mental Health: Enabling and constraining factors involved in the change process.
Josie Maitland, Research Fellow, University of Brighton, UK

Using a lesson study approach to deliver mental health education: student-teacher and mentor perspectives
Sarah Adams, Lecturer Primary Initial Teacher Education, University of Leicester

Topic 2
Addressing MH and WB in Higher Education

The importance of mental health and wellbeing to doctoral students on their PhD journey: A Q methodology study
Nichola Kentzer, Lecturer – The Open University
Alex Berry – independent researcher

The Experiences of Postgraduate Research Students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Background: An Exploratory Study
Caroline Lafarge, Siobhan Lynam, Raffaella Milani and Marcia Worrell, UWL

Topic 3
Supporting staff working across all educational settings/How is staff’s own well-being supported. What needs to be done? By whom?

POWERup – Promoting the Occupational Well-being of EducatoRs: Initial concept and development
Elizabeth Nye, Lecturer, University of Oxford

Teachers’ Stories of Struggling: Reflections on a doctoral study. The implications of better understanding what it means to be struggling as a teacher.
Suzanne Culshaw, PhD Student, School of Education, University of Hertfordshire


Topic 4
Educational settings for promoting and supporting WB and MH needs: Policy, recommended practice, and reality. What is the role/responsibility of Education looking forward?

Supporting Wellbeing, Emotional Resilience and Learning (SWERL) in schools: Is Knowledge Exchange the right approach to change management in schools?
Amelia Roberts, Deputy Director, UCL Centre for Inclusive Education

Developing novel approaches to support teaching wellbeing
Richard Brock, Postdoctoral Fellow, King’s College London
Emma Towers, Teaching Fellow in Education Policy, King’s College London
Alex Manning, Lecturer in Science Education, King’s College London

Topic 5
Understanding MH and WB in educational settings: Listening to learners’ perspectives

On Becoming a Young Person: what does it mean to be an adolescent in an English secondary school?
Susan Davies, postgraduate PhD Researcher (lst year)

‘In hospital I’m treated as if I’m still sick… but in college, I’m treated as normal’; transformative learning for adults with mental health problems.
Denise Buchanan, Research Associate, UCL Institute of Education, London

Topic 6
Delegates choice: suggested discussion topics

Using arts and culture to support students learning and resilience
Alfonso Pezzella (Lecturer), Ruairi Mulhern (Lecturer), Nicky Lambert (Assoc. Professor) – all from the Department of Mental Health and Social Work and Jenny Phillips (Lecturer) Department of Adult, Child and Midwifery at Middlesex University

The role of animals in supporting students to achieve, thrive and survive the educational journey!
Jenny Phillips (Lecturer) Department of Adult, Child and Midwifery at Middlesex University, Ruairi Mulhern (Lecturer), Nicky Lambert (Assoc. Professor) – all from the Department of Mental Health and Social Work

15.00 Introduction from the chair: Sveta Mayer –Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Programme Researcher, UCL
Panel Discussion: feedback from the round table discussions: key issues, implications for policy and practice, future research agenda followed by Q & A
What do members want from the SIG?/suggestions for the SIG to take forward
15.50 Closing remarks
15.55 Completion of evaluation forms
16.00 Close of event


The BERA Early Career Researcher Network offers a limited amount of bursaries to the value of £75 towards travel for BERA Student Members only.

To apply for one of these bursaries, please email with a 250 word statement on why you want to attend this event and why you need the financial assistance. Bursaries are offered on a first come, first served basis. Travel expenses will be reimbursed after the event in accordance with our travel policies. You must not have previously received bursary funding from BERA.

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