Jessica is a clinical psychologist who works with children and young people and their families. She has always been passionate about the inclusion of people with different needs into their communities, and has challenged many of the she has worked in to become more accessible.
Jessica has conducted research into the impact of changes to disability benefits on individuals’ well-being and identity. She found that people with physical health conditions experience the benefits system as powerfully dehumanising. In addition, she found that disability benefit claimants feel that they live in a judgemental society, where they are perceived as ‘scroungers’ and where they face regular discrimination from others. These experiences and pervasive discourses have a huge negative impact on people's mental and physical health, well-being and their sense of self. She completed this research as part of her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, and is currently working towards disseminating it widely so that her findings can be read by policy makers and clinicians across the country.
In her work as a clinical psychologist, Jessica finds it crucial to consider her clients' and their families' environment and the impact of this on their mental health. She is also a member of Psychologists for Social Change, for whom she speaks about the impact of austerity on mental health and well-being.