Ariana Markowitz is a PhD student based at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit. Her research focuses on how fear and trauma manifest and become defining parts of urban landscapes. Taking cues from this damage, especially in marginalized communities, she looks for alternative ways of repairing frayed social fabric and healing.
In 2018, she spent some time in El Salvador, one of the most violent countries on earth talking at length to people who have experienced trauma about those experiences.
In this blog piece, she talks about her emotions while working in El Salvador and after she had returned to London including struggles with her own mental health. She also discusses the limitations of the guidance given to researchers who are working in violent contexts and gives some recommendations to those who are thinking of carrying out similar research.
NB. The piece in the blog linked contains graphic content
On Friday, this network was officially launched at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. During the event, the Mental Elf recorded interviews with some high profile members of the network. These include the network co-investigators; Louise Howard, Sian Oram, Sylvia Walby, Seena Fazel and Leonie Tanczer as well as Dean of the Royal College, Kate Lovett, and Director of Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, Felicity Callard.
We will follow up with some additional information from the launch, but in the meantime these podcasts should give a sense of the aims and intentions of the network going forward.
From the 18-22 February 2019, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is running a short course aimed at those who are conducting or commissioning research into gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence is widespread across the work and takes place in many forms. These include, but are not limited to intimate partner violence, rape and coerced sex, child sexual abuse, and human trafficking. These can have a significant impact on individuals' physical, sexual and psychological health as well as their social and economic well-being. As such, it is essential that rigorously conducted research is carried out and it is used to influence policy and services around the world.
The course aims to strengthen participants’ knowledge and skills to conduct or commission technically rigorous, ethical and policy-and service-relevant research on various forms of violence against women, children and adolescents. It will be of particular interest to those who want to add a ‘violence component’ to a study that is quantitative or qualitative or an intervention evaluation. It is relevant for individuals working on health-related topics such as sexual and reproductive health, maternal health, HIV, mental health and substance use. The course will cover topics such as:
If you are interested in attending, please follow this link to the LSHTM website
We want to understand what people who have experienced violence and abuse, and who have experience of mental health problems think should be the focus of Network activities. We are therefore conducting a consultation between Nov 2018 and Feb 2019 to ask people about their priorities for research. We will engage people with lived experience of mental health problems and survivors of violence and abuse through links with our partners, including organisations such as Women’s Aid, Safe Lives, and Rape Crisis.
The consultation will involve an open online survey (hosted by the McPin Foundation) asking people to submit their ideas about the type of questions that the Network should focus on. We'll also be asking participants about the importance they would place on the preliminary topics previously suggested by Network leads. The survey will be followed by meetings with people from the mental health sector, violence and abuse services, and people with lived experience of violence, abuse, and/or mental health problems. Through this process we hope to begin to build a consensus about the direction the Network will take. We look forward to sharing our findings with you!
If you are interested in completing the survey and contributing to the direction that the network will take, please follow this link.
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) at King's College London is now awarding funded postgraduate research studentships to support doctoral research and training in the social sciences. These are available for three or four years full-time, either as a three year PhD or as a one-year Masters followed by a PhD.
The competition for the upcoming academic year is now open and applications are due by Thursday 31st January at 5pm. If you are interested in applying for this funding, please follow this link to the KCL student funding website.
We are delighted to announce the launch of the UKRI-funded Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network. This network aims to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems among children, adults, and the elderly, by bringing together experts from different fields with different ways of thinking about violence, abuse and mental health. Some of these have personal experience of these issues, others will have expertise from the work that they do, and some will have both as survivor researchers. Through a range of network activities – including small grants competitions - we aim to increase understanding and reduce the impact of violence and abuse on mental health.
If you would like more details about the Violence, Abuse and Mental Health Network, please see this link or follow the network on twitter @vamhn.
The official launch event of the VAMHN will take place at the Royal Collage of Pyschiatrists on 7th December, details of which are included below. Unfortunately the event is fully booked, however you can register to a waiting list in case additional places become available. You will be able to follow the event on twitter @vamhn and @Mental_Elf. Further information will also be available on The Mental Elf website in the form of podcasts and blogposts.
The network will be officially launched on Friday December 7th from 5 p.m. until 7.30 p.m at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescott St, London E1 8BB. The event will be the first chance to meet others associated with the network and there will be a number of high profile speakers.
The event is a free networking reception, with wine and nibbles, for potential and existing network members and an opportunity to meet people working in this field from many backgrounds and sectors, including survivors of violence and abuse, front-line clinicians, researchers, professionals working for third sector organisations, policymakers, and funders. We will tell you about the aims of the network and our planned activities and small grant competitions. We hope you will contribute to the discussions, providing us with ideas we may not have previously included or considered.
The speakers will include;
Unfortunately the event itself is now fully booked, however you can register to a waiting list in case additional places become available. You will be able to follow the event on twitter @vamhn and @Mental_Elf. Further information will also be available on The Mental Elf website in the form of podcasts and blogposts.