Welcome. My name is Ben Hannigan, and I’m a mental health nurse, teacher and researcher. I’m also a lot of other things too, like being a dad, a grandad, a partner and (sadly, now, a somewhat lapsed) mid-life convert to running. I work as a Professor of Mental Health Nursing in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University, though the views I express here are mine alone.

What I’m mostly interested in in my working life is using ideas and methods from across the health and social sciences to inform analyses of mental health systems. Over a period of years I have worked with colleagues to address these interrelated areas: policy; service organisation and delivery; work, roles and values; the characteristics and wellbeing of the workforce; practitioner education; and the experiences of users and carers.

In the mid-1980s I studied for a BA Hons in Politics and Sociology at Sheffield University, and in the late 1980s began a four year integrated Registered Mental Nurse and Registered General Nurse training at the Princess Alexandra and Newham School of Nursing in Whitechapel, London. Not long after qualifying I took up a post as a community mental health nurse in east London. Whilst there I completed a Diploma in Community Psychiatric Nursing at the University of East London, and started a part-time MA in Health and Social Policy at the University of North London. In 1997 I moved to south Wales to become a lecturer in what was then the School of Nursing Studies at the University of Wales College of Medicine. I was employed specifically to run the community mental health nursing pathway on the College’s post-registration Diploma (later BSc Hons) in Community Health Studies. I finished my MA, completed a teaching certificate, and registered for a part-time PhD which I completed in 2006. This was an ethnographic study of work and organisation in community mental health care. I now work as a professor, researching and teaching across the full range of academic levels: the enduring posts page brings together some of the research areas I’m interested in and have studied and written about.

At the end of 2016 I was elected as Vice Chair of Mental Health Nurse Academics UK, and served as Chair for 2019 and 2020. In 2019 I chaired the steering committee for the International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference. I was very pleased to win the Royal College of Nursing in Wales Research in Nursing Award for 2015, and in 2013 to be a runner-up in the Student/Academic category in the This Week in Mentalists blogging awards.

For those interested, a full list of articles and chapters I have authored can be found by following this Orcid link:


11 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello Ben. I am a mental health clinician and clinical supervisor in the US. I am enjoying your posts and look forward to learning more about the mental health field as practiced in England as I believe they are likely to mirror and enhance our practice here in the US.

  2. Dear Ben,

    Last Friday we officially launched our new website called http://www.stepiau.org to serve as an accessible mental health self help resource for people in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. We have designed the site to be user friendly and to contain information both about local resources such as CAVAMH and the range of open access and therapeutic groups that we run. We hope that in future we can develop this to include more interactive content accessible from the website.

    More information about the new website can be found on Cardiff and Vale UHB’s website at http://www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales.nhs.uk/news/37560. Please let us know if you have any comments or questions, please share this as widely as you feel appropriate and consider adding a hyperlink from your website to make it easier for people to find.

    Be well

    Tommy Carr
    Primary Mental Health Support Service

  3. Hi Ben,
    would be good to have a catch up with regards to the MHNR Conference 2017.

    Co-founder and Director.
    The Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation- International Foundation. (careif)
    Centre for Psychiatry
    Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine
    Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine & Dentistry
    Old Anatomy Building
    Charterhouse Square
    London EC1M 6BQ

    CAREIF – Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation International
    Foundation – is an International Mental Health Charity
    Visit our website: http://www.careif.org

    Twitter @careif

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