I have been working in public health for about ten years after completing degrees in Politics and African Studies/International Development. My work since has built on issues I explored in those degrees particularly around the politics of sexual health and health inequity more broadly.
Since leaving university I have held a mixture of roles across sexual and mental health. This has included time working in policy and international health as a HIV treatment access campaigner, running an information service, working as a mental health and sexual health practitioner. Most recently I have been working in the public sector at a local council as a public health practitioner, where I planned and commissioned self-harm and suicide prevention services and coordinated responses to these issues across the public and third sector.
My project at WCCEH focusses on the experiences of women living ‘complex lives’ and how the health issues they face intersect with experiences of the criminal justice system. These women might be experiencing challenges around mental health, sexual health, homelessness, drug use, sex work and the criminalisation of these. The project explores tensions between criminal justice and public health and will centre the experiences of women facing multiple complex health and social challenges as well as working with organisations that support them.
More broadly the project will explore how evidence is used and not used in public health related interventions, particularly in populations that are viewed as difficult to work with and/or particularly vulnerable.