Strong SDHI representation at the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston

Like in the previous year, SDHI affiliated researchers had a substantial presence at this years largest academic and professional public health conference with an estimated 13000 delegates. SDHI Associate Director Professor Peter Donnelly (St Andrews) hosted a special session on the recent Sandy Hook School Shooting in Boston, which brought together different perspectives ranging from parents, criminologists to policy makers.

Damien Williams presented posters on the relationship between community and domestic violence and football matches in Glasgow as well as on alcohol use quantities and patterns among university students at St Andrews.  Thilo Kroll contributed to a special session organised by the Disability Chairs Forum of the APHA Disability Section on ‘The a Construction of Disability and Health: The Role of Spaces and Places’, a discussion which continues on Facebook, and to a presentation entitled ‘Addressing the psychosocial support needs of cancer co-survivors in low income communities’ as part of a session on ‘Social Determinants of Behavioral Health: Addressing Root Causes through Public Policy and Community Practice’ . The latter also introduced SDHI’s sister platform, FRED (family focused research, education and development), which aims to bring together researchers, practitioners and families globally to examine and tackle social deprivation and marginalisation issues related to health. At present researchers from the Unites States, Finland and the UK are engaged in this effort. Thilo also presented three posters relating to a recently completed study on outcome measurement after stroke. The posters focused on rehabilitation professionals’ attitudes to outcome measure use, rationale for selecting outcome measures, and engagement of stroke survivors with aphasia in the discussion about what matters after stroke.  Shiraz Sheriff, PhD student who is supported by SDHI team directors Ed Hall and Thilo Kroll presented his poster, entitled ‘Asthma, deprivation and the urban environment in Scotland: Evidences, challenges and directions‘. For the first time SDHI was also involved in the APHA Film Festival where Lisa Nicoll’s film ‘Wasteland’ was shown. A productive evening session with PhD students has further linked SDHI’s research portfolio and support for postgraduate researchers to a wider international group, which is part of the internationalisation ambitions of SDHI. The presence of SDHI at APHA was particularly poignant this year as the motto of the conference was ‘Think global, act local: Best practices around the world’.

‘Wasteland’ film and discussion well received by Dundee audience

The film ‘Wasteland’ portrays a group of teenagers as they come to terms with the loss of one of their friends a year earlier. They grieve in their very personal ways, struggle with other challenges such as parental alcohol abuse, and feelings of guilt. The short film presentation was followed by a discussion with writer and director Lisa Nicoll who answered questions about the development of the story plot, the use of the film in schools to stimulate debates with pupils about issues such als alcohol use and its consequences and bereavement. The film was the first in a series of films, readings and plays that SDHI is hosting in partnership with the author. The next presentation will be on the 18th October at 5pm when the film ‘Caked’ will be shown. 

Health and Wellbeing through Literature, Film & Theatre by Lisa Nicoll

SDHI are hosting a series of events presented by Lisa

Thursday 4th October at 5pm – Film presentation and discussion
Lecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee

Wasteland is a short film written & directed by Lisa Nicoll. It is based on research carried out with teenagers in the Coatbridge Locality. Over a series of 7 weeks Lisa gained stories about what it is like to live in the area as a teenager, she then brought all the stories together and wrote the short drama script Wasteland.


Thursday 18th October at 5pm
– Film presentation and discussion
Lecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee

Caked follows the story of teenager Jess who struggles to keep her family together after her father is sent to prison. Jess becomes a carer for her mum who has not left her bed for weeks and for her younger sister who has become quiet and withdrawn. Jess works in a shop, studies at school and cooks and cleans.  She shuts everyone else out in a bid to protect her family and in doing so takes a path she would not have chosen…………


Thursday 8th November at 5pm – Book presentation and discussion 
Lecture Room 4, Gateway Building, University of St Andrews

Leathered is Lisa’s first piece of fiction and is a short novel about choices facing teenagers. The book has been piloted for feedback in St Kentigerns and Bathgate Secondary Schools in West Lothian. The book is to be launched Scotland wide for all secondary schools in 2012 with a general publication to follow

For further information about Lisa visit

Edinburgh International Book Festival talk by Lisa Nicoll

Lisa Nicoll will be doing a talk as part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival on Thursday 16th of August.  The event will consist of short extracts from some of her plays, a reading from her short novel for teenagers Leathered and a short extract from her new film Wasteland.  This will be followed on by discussion of how these can be used to explore Health & Wellbeing in a natural, creative way.  A question and answer session will follow.



 Thursday 16th August 2012

17:30 – 18:30


Excerpt from Festival Programme
Lisa Nicoll is a successful writer, actress, director and producer and, following extensive research with teenagers, she’s now written a novel for young adults. Leathered addresses some of the issues concerning young people today. In this event Lisa discusses how health and wellbeing can be explored through literature, film and theatre in a natural and creative way.

New Collaboration with Writer, Filmmaker and Actress

SDHI is delighted about the collaboration with Lisa Nicoll, who has written many acclaimed scripts, books, plays and short films. We will be showing some of her work in the autumn and invite the public to these key events. In June we reported about her most recent film ‘Wasteland’, which we will also show in a few months time. In addition, to these events, we look forward to working with Lisa on a number of upcoming projects on social dimensions topics. Please stay tuned for dates, venue and general updates about these events.

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‘Wasteland’ – Short Film Premiere

'Wasteland - Short film by Lisa Nicoll'

STV has reported on Lisa Nicoll’s film. For details, click here.

Wasteland is a short film written & directed by Lisa Nicoll. It is based on research carried out with teenagers in the Coatbridge Locality. Over a series of 7 weeks Lisa gained stories about what it is like to live in the area as a teenager, she then brought all the stories together and wrote the short drama script Wasteland.

The film is set one year after the death of 16 year old Amy and shows how a group of teenagers come together to commemorate the anniversary.

Wasteland explores how the friends have coped with Amy’s death and how best friend Nicole cannot let go of blaming herself for what happened.

Fostered Nicole is set into further turmoil as her sister Danni is due to go back to her birth mother on the same day, a mother who has constantly let them both down due to her addictions.

Nicole begins to wonder what she has left in her life. Will her mother let Danni down again? Can Nicole let go of her blame? If she disappeared would everyone else be better off….?

The teenagers who provided the research also act in the film alongside two professional actors Louise Ludgate and Laura Harvey.

This film is funded & supported by Health Improvement Team Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire ADP, North Lanarkshire NHS. Music for the sound track is supplied by Reeltime Music.

For further information or to attend the screening please email anila.ansari or visit Lisa Nicoll’s website.

The Scotsman about Daisies.

“ The quality of Nicoll’s writing is striking, simple and emotional without cliché, and with moments of unobtrusive poetry. ”


A One Woman Play written & performed by Lisa Nicoll

4 Stars ****

“….. a clever piece of writing and a heart-tugging story consummately performed; it’s everything one-woman theatre can, and should be.” Three Weeks Publication Edinburgh Festival 2008.