Public mental health programme, Places & communities programme, Health inequalities theme
Men’s health, community health interventions, social class and the concepts relationship to health, wellbeing and educational processes, experiences and outcomes, critical positive psychology and the sociological work of Pierre Bourdieu.
What has been your career journey so far?
After completing my MA, I spent a number of years working in the community sector, with roles ranging from bid writing, collaborative delivery of coaching advice and guidance for mainly unemployed men in “post-industrial” areas of Merseyside.
Why did you choose to do a PhD in public health research?
My MA dissertation investigated recent system wide changes taking place within the NHS. It was here that I encountered a number of puzzles pertaining to the repeated patterning of health inequalities and how they have been theorised within the field of social science. My later experience in the community sector added practical weight to the theoretical puzzles of interest and, as a result, I sought out opportunities to continue my studies and contribute to a research community that looks to understand and explain the “wicked” problems associated with men’s health and health inequalities.
What is your research focused on?
My research focuses on the experience of men who engage with social prescribing.
Why is it important?
Whilst the emerging and burgeoning field of social prescribing research is beginning to proceed at a pace, recent reviews have identified an “urgent” omission in much of the field. This involves a significant under theorisation of the mechanisms, processes and experiences involved in social prescribing interventions and how these cannot be understood without reference to political changes at a broader system wide level. This research will look to remedy this, in part, by ensuring that the broader policy context that has placed increased strain on the supply of “assets” associated with health is used to foreground the data collection.
What do you like about being a part of the NIHR School for Public Health Research?
The broad and plural range of research, methods and areas of study amongst members continually provides intellectual stimulation and added value to my own research.
What skills have you learnt and/or are hoping to learn as part of your PhD?
I have already improved the diversity of research methods I can use and look forward to securing this skill throughout the remainder of my research. Moreover, I am looking forward to engaging in in some of the upcoming public engagement training.
What do you hope to do after completing your PhD?
Academia, teaching and consultancy.