June 2017

June 2017

Contributions included:


Improving Mental Health Services in a Coastal Town


Tim Hobbs

(Dartington Social Research Unit)

Member(s) of South Devon and Torbay Mental Health Team.


Mental health services are facing huge difficulties everywhere but are under particular pressure in coastal towns. South Devon and Torbay is no exception. Despite the Riviera image of palm trees and golden sands, the availability of cheap accommodation and benign climate mean that there is a growing prevalence of mental health difficulties, emerging in childhood and becoming entrenched in adulthood.


The South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are seeking innovative approaches to these problems as the present system is clearly under stress. It has asked the Dartington Social Research Unit to help map out existing provision across the mental health system and create a series of computer models to simulate changes to the structure and functioning of the system.



Bringing the Classroom Back to Life


Jonathan Dawson

Head of Economics, Schumacher College, Dartington


Today, there is (especially in the economics classroom) significant student unrest and agitation against the diet that is being fed to them.  However, to date this disaffection has been largely limited to matters relating to the curriculum.  The implicit assumption here is that simply swapping one set of textbooks for another is going to be enough to effect the kinds of paradigm-shift that is required.  This is a simplistic analysis, for the greater potential for a deep healing in our relations with self, other and the other-than-human world lies more in a deep questioning of pedagogical orthodoxy. The ‘how’ of education is every bit as important at this moment of our history as the ‘what’.


Jonathan is a former long-term resident at the Findhorn ecovillage in Scotland and President of the Global Ecovillage Network. He has around 15 years of experience as a researcher, author, consultant and project manager in the field of small enterprise development in Africa and South Asia.






They helped as long as they lived- the legacy of six pioneer child care researchers


Roger Bullock

Centre for Social Policy


With the death of Roy Parker on January 18th 2017, the child care research world felt as the people of the British Empire must have done when Queen Victoria died. Many of her political favourites, and of course her beloved Albert, had gone before but her demise undoubtedly marked the end of an era. Roy was similarly the last of a generation, in this case of pioneering social policy researchers, especially into children in local authority care.


The previous two years 2015 and 2016 had already seen the deaths of five other distinguished academics who started their work from a base where hardly anything was known. They were: Barbara Tizard, Spencer Millham, David Quinton, Jean Packman and Bob Holman. They had been preceded by others greats, such as John Triseliotis in 2012 and Olive Stevenson in 2013, but the loss of six original thinkers in the space of twenty five months is something special. These early researchers were not only highly innovatory in terms of theory and methodologies but also left a set of studies that stimulated and informed subsequent work.



Stephan Harding.

Holistic Science Coordinator, Schumacher College


What are the links between climate change and the ways in which we see our planet? Could it be that changing our world view has been hugely underrated as a means for tackling climate change? If so, how can we go about seeing the earth more realistically?


Stephan holds a doctorate in ecology from the University of Oxford. He taught wildlife ecology at the National University in Costa Rica before joining Schumacher College where he has been the resident ecologist and tutor since the college’s inception in 1991. At the college, Stephan has worked and taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological activists, thinkers and writers, including Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, Brian Goodwin, David Abram and James Lovelock with whom Stephan has collaborated scientifically for a number of years.  He is author of Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia.




Tim Hobbs, Jonathan Dawson,Roger Bullock, Stephan Harding