23 July 2014

Using mental health research to bring about social change will be the focus of a University of Queensland seminar this week.

International expert Professor Shulamit Ramon, from the UK’s University of Hertforshire, is a guest speaker at the one-day research seminar on Thursday July 24, focused on supporting mental health researchers.

Rather than treating symptoms and illness, recovery-based mental health strategies sought to help individuals rebuild lives disrupted by mental illness, said UQ’s School of Social Work and Human Services Honorary Professor Robert Bland.

“We are delighted to be hosting an academic of such prestige, who can provide our staff and students with the latest developments in recovery-based mental health research,” Professor Bland said.

“Students will be able to present their research to Professor Ramon at the seminar, and receive advice and direction, building research capacity at UQ,” he said.

The visit forms part of a collaboration between UQ and Queensland’s Health’s Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services (MSAMHS).

Professor Ramon has a professional background in social work and clinical psychology, and has extensively researched and published on key themes in mental health, recovery and social work. She has authored 12 books and more than 1000 peer-reviewed articles.

During her stay, Professor Ramon will run a series of master classes with MSAMHS staff, focusing on recovery-oriented services in acute inpatient units and embedding recovery principles and culture into the service.

MSAMHS Executive Director Professor David Crompton said the opportunity to learn best-practice recovery principles from an international leader would be invaluable for staff, consumers, families and carers.

“It will enhance the quality of mental health care provided to consumers and carers who access our services,” he said.

“Recovery is an important part of every mental health journey – it emphasises hope and choice, as well as rebuilding identity and relationships.”

Professor Ramon also will be the guest speaker at MSAMHS’s first community engagement forum for partners and local care providers.

Media: Helen Burdon, Marketing and Communications, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, 3365 7436, 0412 744 437, h.burdon@uq.edu.au.