Developing a chatbot for mental health in the workplace

by Gillian Cameron

In 2016, I graduated with a degree in Computing from Glasgow Caledonian University. My final project involved developing a reminiscence application for people living with dementia. From this project, I developed a keen interest in how technology could be used in mental healthcare.

After finishing my degree, a friend had just started a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) – something I had never heard of. Once she explained what a KTP was, I was keen to check out current vacancies. Continue reading

Mental health, academic life and me

by Matt Flinders

There can be little doubt that mental health is a growing global challenge. And it really is a global challenge. Although rapid rises in relation to depression, anxiety, substance misuse, self-harming and eating disorders have been well-documented in many ‘advanced’ and relatively wealthy countries, it has been estimated that over 80% of those suffering from mental health disorders actually live in the Global South where support is rare.

Seen from this perspective the potential role and impact of the social sciences in terms of helping to understand why the mental health of so many nations seems to be fraying and what might be done has never been greater. I’m not suggesting that it is the role of the social sciences to come up with simple answers to complex problems. But I am suggesting that the complexity of the mental health challenge – with its cultural, economic and political dimensions – demands an inter-disciplinary approach with the social sciences at its core. Continue reading

Understanding dementia: the value of co-research

by Linda Birt

Each year several thousand people with dementia take part in vital research as research participants, yet there are few examples of co-research projects in dementia research.

Co-research means people with experience of the condition work alongside academics in all stages of the research process: co-designing studies and co-creating data and results. In the context of dementia, co-research has the potential to actively involve and empower people with dementia and reduce stigma and feelings of isolation.

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Taking a stand against bullying: Addressing mental health problems from within

by Louise Arseneault

Many people have childhood memories of being pushed around and being punched by other pupils when we felt you couldn’t retaliate. They may also remember being the topic of nasty rumours or being excluded by others. Unfortunately, being bullied is not an unusual experience, even today.

Similar to maltreatment, bullying involves abusive behaviours where it is more difficult for the victims to defend themselves. But in contrast to maltreatment, these abusive behaviours are perpetrated by others of the same age. The research I have been conducting for the past 15 years – alongside great collaborators – emphasises the importance of moving away from the common perception that bullying is a just an unavoidable part of growing up.

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