How we use our research to make real-world impact

Over the past 7 years we have made a conscious effort to conduct research within psychology that strongly aligns with the improvement of wellbeing, in accordance with the University’s ambition to transform lives through research. Within this REF cycle, we have successfully produced 2 impact case studies, spanning the sub-disciplines of cyberpsychology and mental health.

  • The first impact case study (Cyberpsychology) relates to the use of digital technologies (especially social media) and the sense of ‘online self’. This case study has had wide ranging impact from policy making within NATO, to voluntary sector engagement with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and has stimulated contemporary discourse around ‘online identity’. 

  • Our second case study (Mental Health), from the Wellbeing and Psychological Health cluster and the Mental Health, Suicide Research and Prevention Group, speaks to the development of best practice and training in suicide prevention particularly within emergency services and health professionals. This case study has informed policy and training within the West Midlands and throughout England. Research with West Midlands Police, West Mercia Police and North Wales Police has led to bespoke training and best practice recommendations to equip officers and staff with improved suicide prevention skills and better stress awareness. Work on health professionals’ mental health help-seeking has informed policy in the UK Government and in bodies such as the American Psychiatric Association. This work has also been used as evidence to support the need for mental health services for clinicians. 

  • The Eating Behaviours SIRG has produced a patient information booklet on binge eating in conjunction with a multidisciplinary NHS team, leading to clinicians adopting new psychological interventions benefitting people who are overweight or obese.

  • Finally, Dr Orchard has produced a blog in relation to breastfeeding and social media use