Dagmar Makara – Research Assistant
Dagmar Makara is a Research Assistant who works on numerous projects within PRU including designing studies, systematic reviews, data entry, transcribing and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative work. He is also a member of SURG (the Service-User Reference Group) as well as Rapid SURG and the GMMH Research PPI group.
Dagmar has been working for 10 years in Bolton with various charities, including Vision, Headspace Bolton and more – as well as previous work with GMMH over the years, including in its days as GMW. He graduated The University of Warwick in 2011 with a BA (Hons) in History, but has now made the switch to the sciences, in particular psychology and mental health.
Within that he has helped many clinical trials over the years as well as designed a number of research projects himself for both local charities and the NHS. This includes peer support and promoting research amongst hard to reach groups, as well as investigating why service users who want to take part in research often face barriers in doing so.
He has always had an interest in challenging stigma, especially institutionalised stigma and discrimination and how we think about mental health in general. Topics of great interest include the over-medicalisation of non-average but non-pathological behaviour, iatrogenic harm to service users where their world is viewed through the lens of mental illness and the trigger-happy nature of some professionals in assigning diagnostic labels where the diagnosis causes more harm than anything else.
Dagmar’s current interests are wide-ranging and include both qualitative and quantitative work, including the CONNECT and Let’s Talk trials, as well as his own work – for example a systematic review into stigma within personality disorders. He is motivated by the many things he witnessed first-hand within the system when he was a service user and his primary objective is to make things better for service user and staff alike.