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Jim’s Travel Scholarship in Mental Health Recovery

15 February 2005 @TeesUniNews


A University of Teesside researcher has won a prestigious travel scholarship from the Florence Nightingale Foundation to travel to New Zealand and Australia.  Whilst there he will undertake a study of mental health recovery approaches being implemented in order to primarily improve the wellbeing of people with mental health problems.

Jim Campbell, 32, from Gateshead, works at the University’s Psychological Recovery Research Programme, Teesside Centre for Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Heath & Social Care as a Research Fellow.  His role within the team is to help explore meaningful care and practices for people with mental health problems, with particular emphasis on recovery.   A qualified Mental Health Nurse and a Psychology graduate, Jim became disillusioned with the dominant medical approach to mental health and wanted to explore different practices.  Jim supports an approach which puts the emphasis on the person with mental health problems as the expert on their experience, with an equal partnership between themselves and professionals.     He said: “The person who has experienced mental distress is often in a much better position to understand their own experiences and can work with professionals in their own recovery.   “I wanted to find out more about the models and theories of mental health treatment and to see them in practice. I proposed a study to find out the comparative success of the various New Zealand and Australian approaches and how they could be modified for nurses in the UK and elsewhere and applied to the Florence Nightingale Foundation for a travel research scholarship.  After a long process the Foundation decided my proposal was worthwhile, I was awarded £3, 500 to go to both countries and learn from key internationally renowned clinicians, educationalist and research experts.  But it’s not a free holiday!  All my time will be spent visiting various different institutes and learning different approaches to mental health recovery.   “When my trip is complete, the primary aim is to use the experience acquired in helping to develop a recovery focus at the Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS Trust.  In addition I will be writing a report, writing papers for publication and presenting the findings to colleagues both locally and nationally.   I hope to use the award to advance my career towards becoming an expert recovery educator, researcher and practitioner.  However, primarily I want to help to develop the current mental health services and so improve the quality of people’s experiences of mental distress and wellbeing."    Jim will begin his five week trip in March, where he will be spending 2 weeks in Melbourne and Sydney and 3 weeks in Wellington, Hamilton and Napier.   He will also attend a special presentation at Westminster Abbey in May to receive a certificate from the Florence Nightingale Foundation.  This Florence Nightingale Foundation Travel Scholarship has been funded by the Sandra Charitable Trust.