How to promote effective evidence-based prevention when no one is listening?

Good intentions but ineffective or even harmful prevention measures? In this blog post, Sanela Talič from the Institute for Research and Development UTRIP, Slovenia, shares her critical insights to current and past developments in the field of prevention research. She makes a strong point to implement existing prevention programs that have proven effective and calls for an increased collaboration between the different stakeholders and experts in the field.

The topic of my second blog was encouraged by recent events and conferences in Europe and some insider information from our allies – Slovenian NGO’s active in the field of prevention. Overall, 10 years of intensive prevention work have resulted in only few sympathizers who actually understand the basic principles of prevention. Often, we receive very valuable information about prevention in schools from them. So, let me start from the beginning…

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A European perspective: Traineeship at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction

In today’s blog post, Stefanie Helmer, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Economics at the Charité University Medical Center in Berlin, Germany, shares with us what it’s like to complete a traineeship at the European Union’s central agency on drug-related issues: the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in Lisbon, Portugal.

When you work in an interdisciplinary team and you are the one responsible for drug prevention, this goes along with a lot of comments. You are tired on a Monday morning? You can be sure that everybody will ask you about your “field research” at the weekend. If there is a dinner with colleagues, you are the one that is responsible for selecting the wine because you certainly know all about it. So, I thought: let’s go the whole hog – apply for a traineeship in Lisbon at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), the people working there are never going to ask you that kind of questions1.

Even though this was not the real reason behind my application, I was convinced to apply for a traineeship in November 2015 and luckily got it. And now I would like to convince you to do so, too.

The EMCDDA building in Lisbon (Picture: © Stefanie Helmer)

Being a trainee at the EMCDDA

I applied for a position in the prevention unit. Continue reading

  1. As most of you may know, the EMCDDA is an agency of the European Commission that was set up to provide information about drug use and the responses to it in the European Union’s member states, Norway and Turkey. If you are interested in their work, you can find more details here: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/. []

A week in the life of the EUSPR President

We thought you might be interested to read this recent piece by Prof David Foxcroft, Professor of Community Psychology and Public Health at Oxford Brookes University, UK, and current President of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR). David documents what a week in his life looks like.

Originally posted at https://wiki.brookes.ac.uk/display/~p0072582/My+week on 31st January 2017; reposted here with permission 2nd February 2017.

“My week”

I’ve been asked to provide a profile, a description of who I am and what I do, and rather than just writing out a bit of a list I thought it would be interesting to describe my week. This isn’t a typical week, as I don’t have a typical week, but hopefully it illustrates my interests and activities, including research, administrative, teaching and some leisure time as well. Oh, my name is David Foxcroft and I’m Professor of Community Psychology and Public Health at Oxford Brookes University.

Sunday

Head off to the sailing club, but no sailing today as the lake is frozen over. Continue reading

A new year – a new round of blog posts to look forward to!

Happy new year everybody! We hope you had a great start to 2017 and that this year will bring you much happiness.

We’re pleased to annouce that our first blog post for 2017 is already online. This contribution comes from Dr Pooja Saini, a researcher at the University of Liverpool. Pooja’s work explores the role of general practitioners (GPs) in suicide prevention in the UK, and her post describes some of the support that is (or is not) available to GPs regarding this issue.

Beyond that, we’ve also got a great line-up of posts. Continue reading

Do GPs want or need formal support following a patient suicide?

Dr Pooja Saini is a researcher and Chartered Psychologist at the University of Liverpool and currently involved in suicide prevention research. In this blog post, she will share her research and describe what role GPs and Primary Care providers can play in suicide prevention. Additionally, her research includes the opposite effect: the effect patient suicide has on GPs. 

Suicide is a major health problem. In England, around 5,000 people end their own lives annually – that is one death every two hours and at least ten times that number of attempts, according to the Office for National Statistics. Suicide is a tragedy that is life altering for those bereaved and can be an upsetting event for the community and local services involved. Our previous research demonstrated the: Continue reading

How to motivate incarcerated youth? Issues of an early-career researcher

This month’s contribution comes from Aniek van Herwaarden, who is a graduate student at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. She is involved in research projects which address behavioral problems in youth with mild intellectual disabilities. In this blog post, she evaluates her experiences as an early-career researcher in this field.

As I am currently working as a student assistant on a project for youth who are resident in juvenile institutions, several ethical, practical and societal issues cross my mind. In this blog post, I will describe some of these issues. In particular, motivation of incarcerated youth and being an early-career researcher are two of the major difficulties I encountered during my work at the juvenile institution.

How to make your participants as excited as you are about your research?

Within the research project “Change Your Mindset! – Forensic Care”, a newly developed, short-term, on-line intervention program is being carried out. This project is a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and Pluryn in The Netherlands, by principal investigator Petra Helmond. The intervention targets at changing the participant’s mindset from a fixed mindset to a so-called “growth-mindset”. The latter includes a way of thinking in possibilities and growth, rather than pessimism and disabilities (see also: Yeager & Dweck, 20121).

As a researcher, you would think this program sells itself: it is on-line, it contains fast videos and interactive animations, it involves peers who have been in prison as well, and gadgets (rewards) are provided after each session. Unfortunately, practice shows differently. Continue reading

  1. Yeager, D. S., & Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindsets that promote resilience: When students believe that personal characteristics can be developed. Educational Psychologist, 47(4), 302-314. []

ECF events at the EUSPR 2016 conference – a review

The 7th Conference and Members’ Meeting of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) took place in Berlin, Germany from 31st October to the 2nd November 2016. As in the previous year, the EUSPR Early Careers Forum (ECF) was represented at the conference with an early-careers event on every day of the conference, including:

This year, we also offered members of the Early Careers Forum the possibility to participate in the abstract review process, so as to help them develop their own abstract writing skills as well as to gain insights into what happens “behind the scenes” once an abstract is submitted.

The EUSPR generously sponsored 15 bursaries to support early-career preventionists with attending the conference, as well as the pre-conference workshop and the lunch during our networking event – many thanks!!

Below we briefly report on the various activities that took place. More pictures are available from this web album or from our Facebook page. Continue reading

Activity Report 2015/16

Angelina Brotherhood presenting the Activity Report to the EUSPR Membership

ECF Lead Angelina Brotherhood presenting this year’s Activity Report to the EUSPR Membership, 31.10.2016

The European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) Members’ Meeting took place on 31st October 2016 in Berlin, Germany, prior to the Society’s annual conference. Angelina Brotherhood informed the EUSPR Membership about the activities of the Early Careers Forum in its second year, covering the time span from October 2015 to October 2016. You can view the activity report below or download it here. Continue reading

Announcing the ECF events at this year’s EUSPR conference in Berlin

Only a few more days to go until this year’s EUSPR conference kicks off in Berlin! Following on from last year’s successful launch, the EUSPR Early Careers Forum (ECF) will be represented at the conference again with a number of events and activities.

We know you’re busy packing and making your ways to airports and train stations right now, so to make your life at least a little bit easier, here’s an overview of our events to help you plan your conference attendance: Continue reading