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Working title of PhD: An exploration of the technological solutions that may facilitate new and improve existing avenues of live information sharing between the police and public health agencies, in order to support people in mental distress, within the West Lothian region of Scotland.

Full or part-time: Full-time

Year commenced: 2021

PhD Supervisors: Inga Heyman, Nadine Dougall, and Olivia Sagan

Funding: Edinburgh Napier University & Queen Margaret University

Synopsis of PhD: 

Live information sharing acts as a fundamental component of collaboration between policing and public health agencies, particularly when responding to those who are experiencing mental distress within the community. Mental health related issues are a frequent catalyst for emergency service response and can specifically serve as the primary focus for a significant number of police callouts. However, live information sharing and multi-agency working between agencies has demonstrated to be challenging and complex, due to a wide variety of structural, cultural, and technological variables. Technology has the capacity to provide responsive and reactive solutions to improve live information sharing processes between agencies.

My main research question asks: ‘What are the ways in which technology can facilitate new solutions and enhance existing means of live information sharing between policing and public health agencies, in order to better support those who experience mental distress in Scotland.’

I also plan to better understand what live information sharing barriers and facilitators currently exist on the multi-agency level across the local landscape.

My methodology aims to adopt a mixed-methods multi-phased approach within the case study area of West Lothian. In phase one, I plan on conducting semi-structured interviews with those who have lived experience of mental distress. In phase two, I am looking to conduct semi-structured interviews with police officers, ambulance staff, and mental health nurses. An online survey will also be distributed for completion by agency-based participants in phase two. Finally, in phase three, software and IT-based participants will be contacted for semi-structured interviewing.

Keywords: Information Sharing, Mental Health Response, Multi-Agency Collaboration



Edinburgh Napier University & Queen Margaret University

Research Themes

Criminal Justice and Health

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