Dr Jonathan Leach

dr jonathan leach

Research Affiliate

I have a particular interest in social aspects of mental health. This developed from my experience of working for ten years as a horticultural therapist at the Oxfordshire mental health charity Restore before I became an academic. At Restore I worked with groups of up to twelve people with various mental health issues, many of whom had spent years as inpatients in local psychiatric care. This job brought home to me how crucial everyday social and personal interactions in community settings are for the recovery process. Subsequently I went on to teach on a Masters course in vocational rehabilitation at City University in London before taking up a project manager/researcher post at Oxford Brookes University looking at support for students with mental health problems in Oxford. This research also formed the basis of my PhD thesis.

Latterly, for the 16 years up to my retirement in 2019, I worked for the Open University where I developed courses in community mental health and worked on various projects including OU/BBC collaborations covering health issues. Upon retirement I have continued to research local mental health provision and have mentored a DPhil student in the School, who conducted ethnographic research at Restore.

Recent publications

Leach, J., Agulnik, P. and Armstrong, N., (2023) The development of a creative work rehabilitation organisation. History of Psychiatry, 34(1), pp.48-63.

Hall, J., Armstrong, N., Agulnik, P., Fees, C., Kennard, D., Leach, J. and Millard, D., (2023) The processes and context of innovation in mental healthcare: Oxfordshire as a case study. History of Psychiatry, 34(1), pp.3-16.

Millard, D., Agulnik, P., Armstrong, N., Fees, C., Hall, J., Kennard, D. and Leach, J., (2023) Innovation in mental health care: Bertram Mandelbrote, the Phoenix Unit and the therapeutic community approach. History of Psychiatry, 34(1), pp.17-33.

Leach, J.S.R., (2019) Madness and chaos in the culture of a therapeutic community. Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, 40(1), pp.16-24.

Leach, J (2015) Improving Mental Health through Social Support: Building Positive and Empowering Relationships. London: Jessica Kingsley. ISBN: 978-1-84905-518-5.

Leach, J. & Hall, J. (2011) A City-Wide Approach to Cross-Boundary Working with Students with Mental Health Issues. Journal of Interprofessional Care. 25, 138-144.