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Title: An exploration of Clinical Psychologist and Educational Psychologist constructs of mental health in the context of secondary school aged children
Author: Miller, Rebecca
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2016
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Over the past decade, Mental Health (MH) has increasingly appeared on the ‘school agenda’, both in terms of rising levels of MH difficulties in the student population, and also the expectation that schools have a role to play in supporting good MH. MH is a term fraught with ambiguities leading to uncertainty around the most appropriate ways to provide support. A review of current literature reveals a wide range of definitions and interpretations, sometimes within the same team of supporting professionals. The current study seeks to explore the perspectives held by two professional groups seemingly well placed to support young persons’ (YPs’) MH. Six Clinical Psychologists (CPs) and six Educational Psychologists (EPs) are interviewed, exploring their constructs of MH, and their perceptions of their own role and the roles of others in supporting secondary school aged YPs’ MH. The data are analysed through Thematic Analysis. Findings suggest that there are variations between the two professions’ constructs of MH, and EPs in particular have no unified concept of MH. This is likely due to less experience or training in this area. CPs and EPs hold similar perceptions of the school’s role for promoting good MH, and flagging up concerns to more specialist professionals when necessary. However, there are discrepancies in the EP and CP perceptions of each other’s roles. The conflicting views appear to emerge through incomplete information about the other, and professional defensiveness in a context where resources and funding are scarce. The current study suggests that these challenges can be addressed through: greater reflectivity on professional biases, exploration of MH constructs within other epistemological positions, and greater communication regarding professional roles, leading to clearer collaboration in supporting the MH of YP.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Prof.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available