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IRSS Seminar Series Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Cluster

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Date
Time
10:00 to 13:00
Contact details
z.lennon@ulster.ac.uk
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Self Harm and Help Seeking: Client and Helper Perspectives 10.00am

This presentation will focus on the findings from a PhD, which aimed to understand the experiences of self-harm and the process of seeking and accessing help for self-harm from the perspectives of counselling clients, community level gatekeepers and counsellors.

This was a qualitative study, which involved the use of semi-structured interviews (total n = 30) to collect data from the three sample groups. Data analysis was conducted using grounded theory and facilitated with NVivo 9.0. Concepts, subcategories and categories were created from the data, all of which inter-related to form the core category, “The journey through self-harm: Developing a healing reconnection with self and others”. Core and critical implications were deduced from the findings in relation to practice and research.

A pertinent implication of the study is that it is possible to recover from self-harm, with the support of helpers who can relate with compassion and humanity and thus promote the person’s capacity for self-healing. There is a need for helping practitioners and the organisations in which they work to seek to listen to, understand and respond to the individual life story communicated by every person who self-harms.

An Exploration of Social Work Practice In Northern Ireland With Families Where Mothers Have Enduring Mental Health Difficulties 11.30am

This was a doctoral research project exploring interventions by Family Intervention and Community Mental Health Social Workers with families where mothers experience enduring Mental Health Difficulties (EMHD). The study provided quantitative and qualitative data from both practitioner and client perspectives regarding the number of Northern Ireland families affected by maternal EMHD, the relationship between maternal mental health difficulties, child welfare and family functioning, the experience of service delivery and the character and effectiveness of Social Work practice with these families.

A saturation survey was distributed to all Family Intervention (n= 250) and Community Mental Health (n=139) Social Workers across Northern Ireland. Qualitative semi-structured interviews with 6 mothers with enduring mental health difficulties were undertaken and subjected to Hermeneutic Phenomenological Analysis. Analysis indicates that nearly one quarter of composite Community Mental Health case loads and one third of composite Family Intervention caseloads in NI featured maternal EMHD. Themes emerging from interviews with mothers corresponded to issues raised by Social Workers and indicated a need for collaborative, consistent Social Work practice informed by mandatory training in parental mental health difficulties, and where possible, coordinated from within the Community Mental Health programme of care.

Refreshments will be served during a short break between the two presentations

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