Sandra Clare Walker Portrait
Media ready expert


I am predominantly interested in Creative and Community Approaches to Mental Distress

Here at the University I teach Mental Health across the Undergraduate and Post-graduate curriculum to healthcare professional students, predominanty Mental health and Adult nurses.


I became a Mental Health Nurse in the late 1980s and maintain both NHS and private practice. I was employed at various levels throughout my career from staff nurse to modern matron until I left full time health care delivery, in 2011, to become a university lecturer at the University of Southmapton where I worked for 7 years. 

During the 1990s I battled for some years with Post Natal Depression, becoming for a short time a patient of mental health services. This means I have a 360 degree perspective on the world of mental healthcare as a nurse, an academic and a patient. This experience was fundamental for me in driving me to find ways of providing care that are less stigmatising and that avoid inadvertent re-traumatisation.

Whilst at Southampton I gained a PhD researching the following question 'How do people who have self-harmed experience contact with mental health services whilst in a general hospital?'

I work part-time for the university, I joined in Feb 2021, and as a self-employed Clinical Academic for the rest of the week.


Research interests

My main areas of interest  for research are:

  • Creative and Community Approaches to Mental Distress
    • This may include anything mental health related that is exploring different ways of:
      • approaching and delivering care
      • thinking about illness
      • using the arts in healthcare
  • exploring the needs of people who cannot successfully get their needs met in Primary Care but do not meet the criteria for Secondary Care and so do not always get a service 
  •  the interface between physical and mental health and the effect that trauma has on these.
  • Self-Harm and Suicide


Media availability

I am happy to take emails from media on my research and am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner. These should be directed to