Miss Sarah Howes

Miss Sarah Howes

Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing (Education)

School of Nursing and Midwifery (Faculty of Health)



Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing

Since qualifying as an RMN in 2002, I have worked in a variety of mental health settings and managed day treatment services. I have expertise in using a trauma informed approach and working with psychosocial interventions for people experiencing distressing anomalous experiences.  I have experience of developing practice focused education alongside experts by experience, healthcare professionals and students. I work with student leaders and colleagues to help deliver our peer assisted learning scheme (PALS) and am passionate about the inclusion of restorative educational opportunities for student nurses. I have expertise in working with green and blue space and the arts for mental health and recovery.



RMN, BSc (Hons) Mental Health Work, MA Lifelong Learning. Current PhD student.

Professional membership

Nursing & Midwifery Council - Registered Mental Health Nurse and Teacher



Teaching interests

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of trauma informed psychosocial interventions and CBT informed approaches.
  • I teach a wide range of mental health content. 
  • I have extensive experience in working with green and blue space for health and wellbeing and offer theoretical and experiential learning in this field. In 2018 I won the University of Plymouth Students Union 'Most Innovative use of Teaching Methods' award for my work with student wellbeing and blue space.
  • I am a co-leader of the faculty Sustainability Health & Wellbeing Interest Group (SHWIG), working with staff and alumni to develop more sustainable practices in education and in healthcare.



Research interests

I am currently enrolled as a PhD student at Plymouth, where I am undertaking an ethnographic study exploring green and blue space as a wellbeing strategy in nurse education.

  • Mental health and wellbeing.
  • Green and blue space. 
  • Sustainability in healthcare
  • Qualitative methodologies.

Other research

Moor Health and Wellbeing - A mixed methods study evaluating the use of green prescriptions across Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks

Crossing the threshold: A phenomenological exploration of the use of nature-based role transition workshops within nurse education (MA Lifelong Learning).



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Nichols A, Howes S, Thompson A, Byrt L, Cottell S, Rees F & Aronsson J (2022) 'Embedding sustainability into nursing and midwifery education' Nursing Times 118, (8) 1-4 Publisher Site Open access

Howes, S., Edward-Jones, A. & Waite, S. (2018) Moor Health and Wellbeing; An evaulation of two National Park Projects: Dartmoor Naturally Healthy and Exmoor Moor to Enjoy. [Online] Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/10026.1/11791 (Accessed: 09/07/18).

Howes SE, Edward-Jones A & Waite S (2018) Moor Health and Wellbeing Toolkit. Dartmoor National Park. Exmoor National Park. Somerset and Devon public health bodies. Plymouth Plymouth University Open access
Howes SE, Edward-Jones A & Waite S (2018) Moor Health and Wellbeing. An evaluation of two National Park projects: Dartmoor Naturally Healthy and Exmoor Moor to Enjoy. Dartmoor National Park. Exmoor National Park. Funding received from Somerset & Devon Public Health bodies. Plymouth Plymouth University Open access


Reports & invited lectures

  • #mhTV Unite Mental Health Nurses Association. Online. Green prescribing and the use of green and blue space for mental wellbeing. November 2020.

Other academic activities

NurSuS www.nursus.eu – contributor (educational materials, Interventions in green and blue space. Mental health and climate change). Winner of Guardian University Awards – sustainability project category 2018.

  • Sustainable Earth Institute Conference 2021. University of Plymouth.  A Sea Change: Partnering with students for sustainable practice innovation in healthcare. June 2021.
  • International Mental health Nursing Research Conference. Royal College of Nursing. Online.  Wellbeing for all? Exploring the relationship between nature, wellbeing & nursing. June 2021
  • SHARE Conference. University of Brighton, Centre for Sustainable Futures & Sussex Medical School. Online.  Nature & Nursing: A Critical Interpretive Synthesis. May 2021.
  • Dartmoor Research Conference, Parke, Bovey Tracey. How does being outdoors affect our health and well-being: Evidence from the Moor Health research project. July 2018.
  • University of Brighton Sustainability Symposium. University of Brighton. Moor Health and Wellbeing – evaluation and toolkit. April 2018. 
  • Exmoor Society Spring Conference. Dulverton Town Hall. Moor Health & Wellbeing Projects: Dartmoor Naturally Healthy and Exmoor Moor to Enjoy. April 2018. 
  • Sustainable Earth Institute Conference. University of Plymouth. Moor Health and Wellbeing: An evaluation. June 2017. 
  • Royal College of Nursing Sustainability Conference. Royal College of Nursing, London.  The Sustainable Mind. Climate change and mental health. 2015. 
  • Royal College of Nursing NPNR Conference, Keeble College, Oxford. Workshop - ‘Greening the Mind’. 2011. 
  • The First Reflective Practice Gathering, Zakynthos (Christopher Johns, University of Bedford). 2011.