Dr Andrew Mayers
PhD, MBPsS, FRSA
My current research focuses on mental health, including factors affecting the emergency services (the Police, Fire Service, and paramedics), stigma, child and family, and perinatal mental health. More information about these projects can be found via the links to the left of this page. A summary of some of that work is shown below. Some of these links are still being developed, so do come back to look for updates.
Previous work has focused on the impact of poor sleep on depression (see Sleep Research pages). Recent work has specifically focused on perinatal mental health (so check out those pages). In short, my recent work (in general mental health) has focused on a number of aspects. Two projects have examined mental health and policing: one focusing on how much training police offices get on that; and one how officers get help to protect their own mental health (especially when confronted with traumatic events). Two further studies focused on GPs and mental health; one explored what specific training they get; while another examined what support they get to protect their own mental health. Future studies will follow on from the police research, but focus on other emergencies services, including Fire and Rescue, and paramedics. Some other studies will explore the need to provide mental health education in schools.
Perinatal Mental Health
Previous work has included some work investigating sleep factors in postnatal depression (see Sleep research below). My research has also focused on mother-infant interaction and cognitive function in mothers with serious mental illness. Recent work has focused on a number of aspects relating to this important topic. Some projects have examined health professionals' perceptions of how well educated and trained they are on perinatal mental health (separate studies for health visitors, midwives, and GPs). Another study explored perceptions of fathers who had witnessed the wife/partner's birth trauma (in respect how they coped with that experience, what information they received, and what support they were given. Future studies will focus on more aspects of fathers' mental health, and further studies examining health professionals perceptions of what knowledge and training they have with regard to perinatal mental health (this time with obstetricians and practice nurses).
I am working on a series of projects focusing on child and family mental health. Together with education professionals, mental health service providers and local charities, we are looking at how we can evaluate, and improve upon, existing work in Dorset. Our partners include Bournemouth Borough Council, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), and Barnardo's. In one project, we examined ways to tackle behavioural, emotional and social difficulties in young people. We undertook the work with Future Roots (who operate a care farm project in north Dorset) where young people with a range of challenging behaviours are referred. This work was conducted through a 3-year PhD project (I was lead supervisor).
I am working with a number of excellent organisations to explore the benefits of the recovery model for mental health. With help from our students, we are evaluating 'Recovery Education Centres' which are run by the Dorset Mental Health Forum (in association with Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust). This work is being extended through an MPhil programme at Bournemouth University (under my joint supervision).
In some previous research, several years ago, I co-ordinated a series of projects that explored access to, and prevision of, mental health services in rural locations (in comparison to services in urban areas).
I have been conducting sleep research with adults since 1997. Most of that work has focused on the relationship between poor sleep and depression. I have published several papers on that topic. More recently, the sleep/depression work has centred on postnatal depression, particularly through the work undertaken by my former PhD student, Dr Lauren Kita.