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ESRC Seminar Series

Re-imagining professionalism in mental health: towards co-production

Re-imagining professionalism in mental health: towards co-production is a seven part multidisciplinary ESRC seminar series which focuses on imagining new democratic approaches to professionalism in mental health. The seminars interrogate how changes to practice, policy and education in mental health could be implemented to develop a new form of professionalism based on co-production.

Democratic professionalism

The starting point for the seminar series was with the concept of ‘democratic professionalism’ (DP) which is based on the idea that it is important that the voices of 'lay' people, particularly marginalised people, should be regarded as highly relevant when it comes to shaping professional practice and values.


Another principle of DP is that professionals should be assessed according to the extent to which they support the involvement and enablement of people they work with, such as service users. They should share power with others, not exercise power over them.

We believe that our seminar series will contribute to the development of professional practice and values which are suited to the 21st century. For more information see our co-production blog.

To register your interest in attending seminars please email hssresearchoffice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

Researchers and Partners

Principal Investigator:
Dr Pamela Fisher, Principal Lecturer, School of Health & Community Studies, Leeds Beckett University

Professor Martin Webber, University of York

Professor Bill Fulford, St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford

Dr Christine Rhodes, University of Huddersfield https://www.hud.ac.uk/ourstaff/profile/index.php?staffid=350

Professor Albert Dzur, Bowling Green State University 

Hannah Howe, Volition

Karen Fenton, Involvement Lead, Patient Experience Team, Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Forthcoming seminars

Seminar 7: Education, training and supervision for co-production

27 October 2017, University of Huddersfield

This seminar will explore conceptual frameworks for a redefinition of professionalism based on co-production and power-sharing, and how this might be fostered through educational experiences.

Register your interest by email: hssresearchoffice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

Previous seminars

For seminar reports and notes please visit our blog.

ESRC Seminar Series dates & locations

Seminar 1: Applying the concept of democratic professionalism in mental health.
University of Leeds, 5 January 2016.

Seminar 2: Enacting co-production.
St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, 17 February 2016.

Seminar 3: Contemporary developments in mental health practice: a help and/or a hindrance to co-production and power-sharing.
University of Leeds, 19 July 2016.

Seminar 4: Contemporary developments in mental health policy and commissioning: a help/and or hindrance to power-sharing
University of York, 27 October 2016.

Seminar 5: Reconfiguring narratives.
University of York, 3 March 2017.

Seminar 6: Power-sharing within coercive environments 
This seminar focused on the tensions between coercion and care, and considered whether, to what extent, and how co-production informed by democratic professionalism may be enacted whilst attending to risk.
University of Huddersfield, 6 July 2017.

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