Skip to main content
Event Name They’d have to utterly, utterly trust me to talk about it…” Challenges faced when conducting mental health and substance use research with Irish Travellers
Start Date 30th Jan 2018 12:00pm
End Date 30th Jan 2018 1:00pm
Duration 1 hour

Synopsis : Conducting research with “hard-to-reach” or vulnerable populations is often difficult and sensitive in nature. Irish Travellers (ITs), a “hard-to-reach” and vulnerable population, frequently face problems such as an insecure housing situation, financial deprivation, low educational achievements, lower levels of employment and poor physical and mental health, including high rates of suicide. Cultural attitudes and beliefs (such as fatalism, normalisation of ill health and stoicism) are acknowledged as often reinforcing behaviours relating to health.

Biography: Suzy is currently working on the NIHR funded evaluation of the Communities in Charge of Alcohol (CICA) intervention across Greater Manchester. The intervention involves the training of community members to become alcohol health champions to deliver alcohol-related brief advice and help communities tackle the availability of alcohol through the licensing process.

Suzy is also writing up her PhD thesis at the Public Health Institute at Liverpool John Moores University on a qualitative study exploring the mental health and substance use needs amongst Irish Traveller population, focussing specifically on gathering evidence to inform the development and delivery of community-based interventions, to ensure that accessible support services are available for this population.

Prior to starting at the University of Salford, Suzy had 16 years’ experience of Public Health research at Liverpool John Moores University in the areas of HIV epidemiology, sexual health, substance use and teaching and learning. In 2006, she completed an MPhil on HIV epidemiology in the North West of England, in part looking at the effects of deprivation on indicators of ill health and stays in hospital. She has also written and contributed to many HIV epidemiological reports and local sexual health needs assessments, used by commissioners to fund sexual health services in the region, and was on the editorial board for the Sexual Health Quarterly Bulletin. She organised and gained funding and sponsorship for several annual sexual health conferences and established and led an enhanced sexually transmitted infection surveillance scheme for Cheshire and Merseyside.