In 1982, after taking A levels in maths, further maths, physics and – oddly – calligraphy and lettering, Steven moved from the Midlands to take a degree in psychology at the University of Manchester. Quite why he chose psychology is long forgotten but Manchester was an inspired choice (great city, great people, great nightlife!) and he has been in the area ever since. After graduating in 1985, he worked for a while in market research before inadvertently falling into mental health nursing. He qualified as a ‘mental nurse’ (as they were known in those days) in 1990, subsequently working in a variety of clinical areas that included short stints in community, acute and older people’s mental health and a much longer stint in children’s mental health.
In 1995, he began his career in nurse education, originally as a nurse tutor in an NHS nursing school but latterly as a lecturer/researcher in the university sector. He was awarded his PhD (on stress in student healthcare professionals) in 2003, becoming a Chartered Psychologist shortly after.
Since obtaining his PhD, he has held a number of leadership roles in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work at the University of Manchester, one of the UK’s top-rated healthcare schools. He has published widely and has held a number of research grants mostly relating to his three main research interests: primary and self care perspectives in children’s mental health, stress in health care professionals and supporting student learning.