Primary Department
School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health
Academic Staff - Mental Health Nursing
Phone number: 01 700
Glasnevin Campus
Room Number

Academic biography

My work and interests involve 2 main areas: diversity and inclusion health and arts-based/narrative approaches in healthcare education, practice and research.  

My working life as a nurse and academic has involved engagement with groups and individuals who experience marginalisation in achieving their health and social potential.  For many years, I worked as a nurse designing and delivering health initiatives among diverse and excluded populations in UK and Irish community contexts.  I designed (in collaboration with Dublin Region Homeless Executive)  The Undergraduate Certificate in Homeless Prevention and Intervention  https://www.dcu.ie/courses/undergraduate/snhs/homeless-prevention-and-intervention.shtml; the only university accredited programme in Europe focusing on the health and social care needs of homeless populations.  I am the lead for the Community Health Academic group in the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and and Community Health, DCU and conduct a range of research initiatives in this area for example, most recently: Autism and homelessness; COVID-19 related support for people accessing homeless services.  

My teaching and research activities also focus on the use of narrative and arts-based approaches in healthcare education, practice and research. I designed and co-ordinate an Arts and Health module of study which has been running successfully in DCU for many years. I  publish and present widely on narrative and arts–based research including several research projects concerning the use of arts and health methodologies for improving health and social outcomes among marginalised groups. Recent research projects include; exploring terminal illness and attitudes to death through group involvement in needlework; use of gaming technology to advance understanding/coping in mental illness; exploring the embodied experience of chronic kidney disease in adolescence through body-mapping; researching the effects of community choir participation among people with dementia and carers; experiences of collaborative drama and visual art making involving nursing students and marginalised groups.

I have held several senior positions within DCU including Director of Teaching and Learning and Post Graduate Convenor roles in the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health. I was the recipient of the DCU President’s Award for Distinctive Teaching Approaches 2013 and the winner of DCU President’s Award for Engagement 2018.  I am
a reviewer for Journal of Advanced Nursing, Qualitative Health Research and Psychology and Health.

Research interests

Narrative and arts-based approaches in healthcare interventions, research and education. Power and discourse in healthcare/educational contexts. Homelessness as a social issue and personal experience.