On Wednesday 10 October 2018, the University of York hosted a research event to mark World Mental Health Day 2018, welcoming over 200 staff, students and external attendees to a showcase of collaborative research taking place at York under this year’s global theme of young people and mental health in a changing world.
- World Mental Health Day 2018 Programme of talks (PDF , 698kb)
Professor Karen Bloor, Research Theme Champion for Health and Wellbeing briefly introduced the day, noting the increasing focus on mental health in UK policy and health and social care, and the University of York’s commitment to this field, before Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Professor Deborah Smith highlighted the bold ambition for mental health research at York and provided an overview of some of the interesting partnerships and knowledge exchange opportunities that are already becoming established in York.
The Programme of talks commenced with Professor Simon Gilbody outlining the challenges in mental health, noting that depression is known to be the leading cause of global disability, costing £17 billion in the UK alone. Through national and international interdisciplinary research, one key problem York is looking to address is the 20 year mortality gap for people with severe mental health problems.
Professor Rachel Churchill provided attendees with a summary of the activities of the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Group, enabling access to evidence that can inform decision-making by people with lived experience, healthcare practitioners, families, policy-makers and others, and identifying key priorities for important research in this area.
Professor Barry Wright of the Hull York Medical School delivered the keynote speech on the approaches York is taking to child mental health research, especially reflecting the need for research that is specifically child-focused. He outlined some of the more innovative thinking taking place at York, in collaboration with other key partners, to try to address these problems.
Before the Tea and Talk networking session, we were pleased to welcome Josefien Breedvelt and Jade Yap from the Mental Health Foundation research team, who described the vision and role of our partner organisation, highlighting the research funding disparities for mental health research and demonstrating the need to improve mental health across of the life course. They explained some of their awareness-raising and campaigning activities and provided the audience with a flavour of some of their current projects, before heading into the informal tea break to carry on discussions with attendees about priority issues for future youth mental health research.
Presentations during the second half of the afternoon were dedicated to highlighting work in youth mental health research by the next generation of mental health researchers. Featured speakers were Mary Barker (MS Word , 40kb), Samantha Gascoyne (MS Word , 35kb) and Dr Lucy Foulkes (MS Word , 35kb), early career researchers spanning PhD study to early postdoctoral research years.
The event marked interest across the staff and student bodies in developing a better understanding of both the latest mental health research being undertaken across the institution and the vision for mental health research at York. We were delighted to welcome so many representatives from the mental health research partnerships that have been established, which are already beginning to achieve the ultimate aim of real-world impact of our research activity in this area.