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RCOMH Steering Group Member - Dr Wendy Bryant

Dr Wendy BryantI began my transition into academic life in 2000 with a Master’s degree in occupational therapy. I had worked for many years as an occupational therapist in hospitals and the community, which has enabled me to bring my experiences into my teaching with undergraduate and postgraduate students – hearing about real people always helps to bring the theory to life.

Initially I combined funded research with part-time work as an occupational therapist and sessional lecturing at Brunel, balancing my domestic responsibilities with my new career. My research involved people with severe mental health problems, gaining their perspectives on the day services they received. Much to my delight, I was able to continue the research and received my PhD in October 2008. With local day service users and staff, I conducted a participatory action research project from 2003-7 which informed the development of local mental health day services. We used a variety of approaches including photography.

This research has led to a number of other projects involving mental health service users and occupational therapy staff, all at different stages of progress. I have also sustained my interest in social care, especially in relation to occupational science and clinical reasoning. It is a great privilege to be creating and sharing knowledge in health and social care, especially as my particular role brings me into contact with so many different people in different settings.