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University lecturer ‘Highly Commended’ in 2020 Emerald Literati Awards

01/12/2020
University lecturer ‘Highly Commended’ in 2020 Emerald Literati Awards

University of Wolverhampton Head of Nursing Dr Sarah Sherwin’s article ‘Supporting the mental health needs of young people: the spatial practices of school nurses’, has been selected as a Highly Commended Paper in the 2020 Emerald Literati Awards.

In the communication announcing Dr Sherwin’s award, The Emerald Team commented: “The editorial team said that it is one of the most exceptional pieces of work they saw throughout 2019.”

The article, which was published as part of Dr Sherwin’s postdoctoral work, explored how school nurses provide emotional support to school age children and young people.

Dr Sherwin said: “The aim of the paper was to raise awareness of how school nurses provide support to children and young people in relation to promoting and protecting their emotional and mental health and wellbeing as they attempt to deal with particularly difficult situations such as family breakdown and conflict, bullying, relationship abuse, bereavement, trauma, and depression."

Half of all adults who have a lifetime mental health problem will have exhibited symptoms before the age of 14 years. The cost to the NHS in England alone is an estimated £105 billion per annum.

“School nurses have the potential to make a significant impact on preventing and protecting young people’s mental health,” Dr Sherwin added. “They provide valuable support to young people to enable them to cope with the complexities of their lives, yet relatively little is known about their everyday practice as this is an under reported area of nursing.”

In her paper, Dr Sherwin explored how Edward Soja’s (1996) concept of spatial theory could be applied to help understand how school nurses use different types of space to provide emotional support to young people. This involved identifying multiple spaces and understanding how they interact and influence practice, enabling school nurses to assist young people to cope in times of adversity, crisis and distress.

The methodology was a narrative inquiry and the findings were presented in poetic form and performative text as a means of telling the school nurses powerful and emotive stories; an approach she was commended on.

Dr Sherwin said: “I am absolutely delighted for some of my work to have been recognised by this award and would like to pay tribute to all the school nurses and the young people they continue to support on a day to day basis; work which often goes unnoticed.

“I hope that nursing students who are about to qualify at University of Wolverhampton would consider a rewarding career in school nursing.”

The University offers courses in becoming a specialist practitioner in school nursing.

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