RCOMH Steering Group Member - Jacqui Lovell
As a member of developing partners (dp), a
social enterprise led and run by people with long term mental
health needs, I work with people who experience multiple layers of
stigma and discrimination and who are socially excluded, many of
whom live in poverty. I love my job and the life I have chosen for
I previously worked as a Registered General
Nurse in General Medicine and with Older People and then undertook
an Honours Degree in Psychology and began working as an Assistant
Psychologist undertaking research into the experiences of parents
who had a learning disability, who typically have a hard time when
they engage with services as 50% have their children removed and
taken into care, a little known fact that set me on a path towards
working in empowered ways with a range of people who struggle to
fit in a society that places the individual above the community and
can be excluding and intolerant of difference.
I am committed to working in anti-oppressive
ways and am glad that dp operates as a co-operative cos I struggle
with power differentials, so for me equality works best. I love the
diversity I get in working with people from diverse backgrounds,
cultures, faiths, spiritualities, sexualities, ages and countries
and I feel most at home when I am with people who have survived (or
are attempting to survive) life’s experiences.
As a gay woman and a mother to a growing
family I am aware of the ways in which people can be pushed out
whether inadvertently or not the result is the same. I prefer to
adopt a human rights approach in all that I do and to go out and
meet with the most vulnerable people first because if we get things
right for them then it follows that they will be somewhere near ok
for the rest of us.
I admire Paulo Freire and his educational
approaches and the work of Ignacio Martin Baro when he talked about
the need to turn the whole of psychology on its head and to adopt a
bottom up approach to what we do and for these reasons I am working
using community and liberation psychology principles and practice.
I am using both Freire and Martin Baro in my recently commenced PhD
entitled “So what's changed? Using participatory methodology to
evidence outcomes of importance to people facing multiple layers of
social exclusion” and am using participatory video production as
one way of evidencing the difference that our work at dp can have
from the perspective of the people who we work with and thankfully
who give their time and effort in working with us.
As a person in my own rite I bring with me my
lived experiences of trauma and survival and the years I spent
raising my own awareness in order to live a different life to the
one that may have been mapped out for me.
I have retained my working class roots and am
very down to earth in my approach to my work and life in general. I
enjoy a frank and open discussion with people who have taken the
time to form opinions of their own and hope to grow old
disgracefully as all the people I admire seem to have done!
I bring all of the above to the Research
Centre for Occupational Mental Health (RCOMH) and aim to share and
disseminate what RCOMH does with the other people with whom I live
and work in the North East of England and beyond. My email address