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City celebrates Blooming Monday

Attendees discussed relevant issues over tea and cake while raising money for Mental Health Research UK

by George Wigmore (Senior Communications Officer)

Researchers from the Centre for Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience held an event on Blue Monday to start conversations about mental health, and raise awareness of depression and seasonal affective disorder.

Wearing their brightest clothes, around 30 attendees discussed relevant issues over tea and cake, while raising money for Mental Health Research UK and contributing to their on-going campaign.

Started by Mental Health Research UK, the idea behind the Blooming Monday campaign is to counter ‘Blue Monday’, supposedly the most depressing day of the year.

Dr Jessica Jones Nielsen, Associate Dean (People & Culture) of the School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS), said:

“As the Associate Dean of People and Culture at SASS, it was a real pleasure to see discussions around mental health and wellbeing take place in a fun and inclusive environment. Several staff members got into the spirit of Blooming Monday and wore their best and brightest clothes!

“This event also provided ample opportunity to promote staff wellbeing resources across the University, and feedback from the day reiterated the importance of encouraging a healthy work-life balance at City. It was my hope in supporting this event alongside the Centre for Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience that we would be able promote a work culture that enables us to work and ‘play’ even on the ‘most depressing day of the year’.”

In addition to raising awareness, Mental Health Research UK aims to make a significant improvement to the lives of people with mental illness by funding research into causes and cures. This includes the competitive John Grace QC PhD Scholarship award that focuses on schizophrenia.

In 2014, Dr Corinna Haenschel from the Department of Psychology was awarded the scholarship together with Professor Stefan Priebe from Queen Mary University. City PhD student Cristina Filannino has been working on this project, which aims to understand and translate Working Memory Deficits in schizophrenia into treatment.

“I am immensely proud of being able to conduct research that hopefully in the long run will have an impact on the quality of life of people living with schizophrenia,” said Dr Haenschel.

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