Universal Basic Income could be an opportunity to re-think our relationship with work

Social policy influences our perceptions of the world. It determines which and how we address human needs and challenges. With a Federal election around the corner in Australia, this post looks at Universal Basic Income – one of the three main policies of a U.S. 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate – and asks: could it be an opportunity to reconsider what work means to us? This post was written by UNSW Scientia PhD scholar and Power to Persuade moderator Axelle Marjolin.

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Loneliness and living with mental health problems

December being a difficult month for many people who feel under pressure to socialise and be merry whilst feeling lonely, was an apt time to launch UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) cross-disciplinary Loneliness and Social Isolation Mental Health Network, of which the University of Birmingham is a part. Dr Sarah Carr explores the theme of loneliness and living with mental health problems in a re-posted blog originally hosted on the Institute for Mental Health website.

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Self-harm and social media: a knee-jerk ban on content could actually harm young people

Instagram is to ban graphic self-harm images following the suicide of UK teen Molly Russell. In this piece re-published from the Conversation, and picked up by UK news company The Sun, Dr Anna Lavis and Dr Rachel Winter discuss the complex relationship between self-harm and social media, and how a knee-jerk ban on content could actually harm young people.

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You don’t have to be stick thin to have an eating disorder

Imagine getting turned away for not having a broken-enough leg. There would be complete outrage, but yet for people with eating disorders this is happening on a day to day basis. People are turned away for not being “sick” enough. We know a healthy BMI is 18.5 or above but yet some places in the UK are turning people away if their BMI is about 14! In this post, Hope Virgo (the Author of Stand Tall Little Girl and Mental Health Campaigner) shares her experience and talks about her #DumpTheScales campaign.

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What can employers do to address social wellbeing?

There has been a growing focus on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace in the UK. The role of employers in relation to mental health and wellbeing is becoming increasingly pronounced and the business sector is responding to shifts in both policy and public opinion. As 2019 gets underway, employers may be deciding to scale up their business model, or be making plans to remain agile in difficult and unpredictable markets. In this re-post from employee benefits, Dr Sarah-Jane Fenton and Professor Fiona Carmichael suggest that central to those strategic objectives, and not as an afterthought, needs to be a serious consideration about how to support employees’ mental health and social wellbeing.

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Childcare dreaming: a vision for early childhood care

Childcare policy is always fraught, because so many people want it to be better, but everyone has their own ideas about what is needed. Yarrow Andrew, who worked for 15 years in long day childcare as an educator, before beginning a research career investigating early childhood education gives us some ideas about how to reform the sector.

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Islamophobia: The elephant in the research

Research on marginalised communities has a history of being weaponised against those very communities, marginalising them even further. This weaponisation, and the fear of it, can silence discussion on important social issues. Here, Sandra Elhelw Wright reflects on how this plays out in the context of research on domestic violence in Australian Muslim communities. 

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The Renter's Journey: a new report from the Consumer Policy Research Centre

A new research report from the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC) - The Renter's Journey - follows the common and differing rental experiences of the rental market of four key segments (young singles, women over 55, low income families, and migrant families) and makes recommendations to policymakers for change. The report will be launched in Melbourne on 25 February 2019.

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Co-production and innovation - creating better solutions for future public service implementation

The Public Service Research Group at UNSW Canberra (PSRG) recently launched a timely Issues Paper on co-production and innovation by Dr Linda Dewey, Professor Deborah Blackman and Professor Helen Dickinson. The paper is the third in a series produced by PSRG offering contemporary research-based thinking about topical themes for public services and the public administration community. In today’s post, Dewey, Blackman and Dickinson call for more diverse approaches to evaluate whether co-production is either capable of, or actually delivering, anticipated innovation results.

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