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 husband and a 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 am serving as Chair for 2019 and 2020. In 2019 I am chairing 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: