Social Power and Mental Health: Evolving Research Through Lived Experience

21 April 2021 - 22 April 2021


Sign up to the CRASSH Newsletter for more information and updates on this conference.


Andrew Deller
Ed Kiely
Graham Martin
Iliana Rokkou
Sam Strong
Social Power and Mental Health Steering Group

Keynote Speakers

Rachel Waddingham
Imogen Tyler


Peter Beresford
Sarah Carr
Helen Spandler
Rianna Walcott


This conference seeks to create dialogue between two forms of expertise. It will bring together people with lived experience of mental health challenges and researchers, with the aim of starting conversations between these two groups of experts. We also recognise that many people belong in both groups.

Our theme is the link between social power and mental health. Disempowered social groups are at an increased risk of mental health issues. They are more likely to face difficult economic, social and environmental conditions. Gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disabilities and social class intersect with these. What are the latest research findings on these topics? How do they compare with lived experiences? When might research worsen mental health challenges? What kinds of methods can produce empowerment?

We will also reflect on the social context of mental health, power and inequality. While mental wellbeing is now being discussed widely, stigma remains significant. And people who are already disempowered are much more likely to be labelled ‘mentally ill’. How does stigma link to social power? What is the role of psychiatric services and the welfare state? How are power inequalities reinforced, and how can we challenge them? How do we work towards a future where everyone can openly share their lived experiences, be valued for their contribution and appropriately supported in their endeavours?

The conference has been designed with people who have used psychiatric services in Cambridgeshire. Our speakers include social scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists and service users/survivors. Throughout there will be group discussions with local people who have experience of mental health challenges.

Our intent is for people with lived experience to take the lead as we explore the many intersections between mental health and social power. The conference aims to place research expertise and the expertise of experience on an equal footing. We want to work together to find gaps in knowledge, and then outline a future research agenda to address these. How can we challenge power inequalities in, and through, research? And how can we evolve research by valuing lived experience?

Registration Fees

Full fee and donation £65: 2-day registration Including lunch and coffee and a donation towards someone with lived experience to attend the conference

Full fee £45: 2-day registration including lunch and coffee

Student fee £30: 2-day registration including lunch and coffee

Supported by: 
20th Anniversary Logo           Department of Geography Logo     

  Homerton College Logo                                    



If you have any specific accessibility needs for this event please get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.

Conference assistance: