Patrick Nyikavaranda – Doctoral Researcher at the University of Brighton and Boingboing volunteer

For those that know me, they will easily agree that I am more than happy to talk about myself – how great I am, in fact. So, any opportunity to talk about myself I will take up, but has it always been the case? What changed? Boingboing and the idea of resilience amongst other things. I was not always the Patrick that people see most days. Life has been hard. But it has been good. Learning to get through the hard bits in order to enjoy the good is what I would offer as my definition of resilience at some points in my life. So, who am I? Glad you asked:

I came across Boingboing through recommendations from different people from different walks of life and a conversation (and many later) with Angie Hart lit a spark to discover more on what resilience is and how just one word may influence the direction of my academic career. I have spent over a decade developing and delivering community and in-patient based projects, specifically around mental health. I am a firm believer in the power of the community when they are given the resources, opportunities and belief, they can achieve anything. I am proud to be working on several academic projects that are based in the community and in hospital settings that seek to improve access, support, equip individuals and lessen stigma of often marginalised characteristics such as mental health. For my PhD project I am based at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) in the Department of Primary Care and Public Health. My PhD project has a focus on female migrant mental health and how to improve access and support for their mental health within primary care and community settings.

I love teaching and facilitating workshops. I really do. Thus, you may bump into me at BSMS, University of Brighton, University of Surrey, University of Sussex, University College London, Kings College London, University of West London, or some NHS trust – basically if the academic institution or NHS trust is not on my list… have another think.

I feel being a part of Boingboing has given me an advantage in accessing the resources and experts in the field of resilience, mental health and minoritised ethnic communities. It also allows me to share some of my (often) ambitious dreams on how we can improve access, care, challenge inequalities and offer opportunities for those that would most likely never get the opportunity to participate and contribute to most situations, for example in academia, health and social care. I look forward to continuing my association with Boingboing and seek to develop interventions and research based around resilience. And to learn how to draw, but that is a conversation for another day.

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