Engagement & Involvement Award
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Engagement & Involvement Award

In 2019 we published our Public Engagement Review and Strategy, produced in consultation with people with experience of receiving CBT. As part of the plan proposed from this strategy, and in further recognition of the importance of public engagement, we launched an annual award “For a person who has significantly contributed to public engagement and/or the involvement of people with lived experience, in relation to CBT". Members are invited each year to nominate another BABCP member who has contributed to this.

The recipient of the 2023 BABCP Engagement & Involvement Award is Dr Thomas Richardson 

Since starting at the University of Southampton in November 2021, Thomas has been involved in many public engagement events linked to his teaching, research and personal experience of bipolar. These events are often done jointly with others with lived experience, as well as third sector, clinical and academic partners. Thomas works hard to communicate his work on CBT for bipolar in an accessible and engaging way.

His engagement activities include:

  • Working with Bipolar UK and the digital platform Just Ask A Question to be the face of bipolar, alongside another person with lived experience 
  • Taking part in World Bipolar Day each year in an ‘Ask me anything’ event with a panel of international experts and people with lived experience. This year had 550 questions, 1,600 comments and 1 million total views 
  • Contributing to Channel 4’s ‘Steph’s Packed Lunch’ as part of mental health awareness week
  • Delivering a University of Southampton TEDx talk
  • Appearing on two podcasts - 'Hard Money Talks' and 'Let's Talk Bipolar'
  • Appearing on webinars for people living with bipolar on self-compassion and gambling 
  • Writing a blog for Bipolar UK to summarise the findings from the Bipolar UK Commission report which Thomas helped write, on access to psychological therapy for bipolar in the NHS
  • Being quoted in various press articles and taking part in a press conference as part of the Bipolar UK Commission report release and #CoulditbeBipolar campaign
  • Involving an expert by experience as a regular contributor to the University of Southampton PG Diploma and PG Certificate in CBT for severe mental health conditions
  • Developing a series of short videos on service user experience for the CBT Diploma and Certificate.

Thomas has also been involved with public engagement events for his research on the link between financial problems and mental health:

He seeks to increase the accessibility of research and increase engagement within the university by:

  • Setting up and running a twitter account for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and regularly sharing the findings of his research in an accessible way.
  • Helping establish a new YouTube channel for the School of Psychology.
  • Involving services users in the development of a new Psychosis and Bipolar Research Group, and applying for and receiving funding for software to develop short animated videos about research.
  • Teaching A-level students about his research.

He is a passionate advocate for CBT and other services for people with bipolar. His personal experience drives his research, teaching and commitment to public engagement, and he is shaping services nationally as a result.

Previous award recipients

2022  Dr Amy Hardy
2021  Professor Kathryn Greenwood
2020  Patricia Murphy
2019 Saiqa Naz
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