Research Group

Physical and mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan

Small groups of people sitting outside on grass with trees in the background. To the right some more people are walking up some concrete steps.

The School has a range of wellbeing projects where staff across the divisions are involved in research and scholarship.

  • Dr ZhiMin Xiao is the academic leading this research group and will be co-ordinating a range of meetings and activities with a range of staff and PGR students.
  • In addition to methodological research and education, Dr Xiao is interested in child welfare, particularly in the context of trauma-informed and rights-based research into family injustice, children, and youth wellbeing, particularly in the context of their interactions with digital technologies.
  • Dr Anna Pettican is the deputy lead for this research group and has interests in participatory research and physical in/activity. Her research has included a participatory project with a football league for people with people with experience of mental distress. Dr Pettican is actively involved in developing more inclusive and preventative health practices in relation to physical in/activity via her leadership of the national #MovingOccupationalTherapists programme, funded by Sport England.
  • Strategic support of mental health and health services research has been enabled investigating well-being and social media use in Understanding Society and Professor Susan McPherson’s work with professional bodies and NHS Trusts on psychological treatments and guidelines for depression and developing maternal mental health.
  • Dr Mary Kennedy has developed networks and support service improvements to help people living with dementia and their families.
  • Professor Camille Cronin has looked at dementia and oral health, dementia and culture, and wellbeing in the workplace focusing on menopause at work and is co-leading an international group of nurse scientists looking at menopause in the workplace involving universities around the world.
  • Dr John Day has developed research in the areas of physical activity and men’s experiences of living with obesity.

Events

Upcoming events

Autumn term 2022

6th September 2022 - "Can schools facilitate early identification of mental health difficulties?" - Emma Soneson, University of Cambridge.

Postgraduate Research

With quite a broad area we invite potential postgraduate applicants to look at the team’s specialist knowledge, skills and research in health and well-being including physical and mental health along the lifespan.

If you are interested in doing a research degree there are a number of researchers, allied health and nursing professionals who have developed research profiles. You can browse the list below for potential supervisors.

Current doctoral research

The impact of the environment on engagement in therapeutic activities of service users in an acute mental health inpatient unit

The study aims to identify factors within these environments which are perceived by staff and service users as promoting or inhibiting service user engagement in therapeutic activities and to make recommendations for improvements.

It uses a mixed methods approach, involving questionnaires for staff and patients, and a qualitative component of Participatory Action Research.

Ellen Serwaa Adomako

Developing a model of therapeutic relationships between nurses and patients on acute mental health wards

The background to this Mixed Methods Research study is a history of nursing research since the 1970s in the UK exploring the relationship that develop between nurses and patients on acute mental health wards, whether and how it forms and what impact it has on patients and staff.

Susan Sookoo

Our researchers

Academics

 Ellen Serwaa Adomako

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Leanne Andrews

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Marina Bailey

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Caroline Barratt

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Frances Blumenfeld

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Victoria Boydell

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Bolanle Brikinns

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Joshua Cable

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Sophia Carbonero

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Catherine Constable

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Professor Camille Cronin

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr John Day

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Anisha Desai

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Professor Winifred Eboh

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Hannah Evans

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Sara Garib-Penna

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Edward Holt

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Professor Victoria Joffe

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Stephen Joseph

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Nelly Joye

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Mary Kennedy

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Erika Kerry

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Amalia Khodr

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Jan McAllister

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Professor Susan McPherson

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Lindsey Nicholls

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Sarita Panday

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Arnold Pariag

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Rachael Parsons

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Anna Pettican

Group member and deputy group lead

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Richard Pratt

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Matumo Ramafikeng

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Shabnam Sagar

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Brandon Shaw

Group member

School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, University of Essex

Dr Andy Sluckin

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Jennie Todd

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Antonella Trotta

PhD student

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

 Daniel Underdown

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

Dr Aaron Wyllie

Group member

School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex

An ombre background from blue to green with "Louder than Words" in black text and the words "University of Essex" also in black with a logo of 5 small black squares on the bottom right.
The Louder Than Words Podcast: Mental Health

Join Professor Jules Pretty is joined by mental health nursing student Hannah Brock, and Dr Caroline Barratt and Thomas Currid from the School of Health and Social Care, among others, to discuss changing attitudes to mental health.

Listen to the podcast