PGR wellbeing and mental health are high on our priorities this year and as such, one Thursday a month we will have dedicated sessions where we will be joined by trained wellbeing tutors and academics from across the University.
On 7th Februay 2019 we were joined by:
Dr Sophie Stammers, a Research Fellow from Philosophy Department who spoke about her research project which investigates some of the under-explored benefits of mental health issues and challenges stigma; and also gave a personal perspective having suffered some debilitating panic attacks during her BA and MA years. She believes anxiety traits can sometimes be the academic's friend because they promote intellectual investigation and cautiousness, but that we should be careful not to overglamourise that, and we should also think about external and structural pressures on PGRs that contribute to distress.
Dr Marilyn Benjamin from the University's counselling services discussing ways in which PGRs can actively ensure that they have good wellbeing throughout their studies.
On the 7th March 2019 we will be joined by:
Adrian Powney, CAL's Welfare manager who will offer an input on self-care, self-compassion strategies and time management to strike a work-life balance. In particularly he can work through some resources and strategies / practical demonstration around prioritisation and time management all linked to alleviation of chronic and acute stress as well as how to spot the signs of low-mood and depression in yourself and others.
Dr Jet Veldhuijzen van Zanten who is a Senior Lecturer in Biological Psychology, the Director of Postgraduate Research from the School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences. Her presentation will focus on evidence that exercise and physical activity can have benefits for mental health, such as decreasing anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Sitting for long periods of time has also been related to poorer mental health. In this presentation, she will first discuss the evidence for the associations between physical activity and mental health. The second part will be focussed around ways to incorporate physical activity in your life and ways to reduce the amount of sitting.
Our speakers for 11th April 2019 will be announced shortly.
It's a chance for all PGRs to check-in, talk, eat, drink and listen to advice and information to maintain wellbeing and good mental health in a safe space.
Lunch is provided and as always, there will be loads of tea, coffee and biscuits as well.
Be sure to put this in your diary and to tell all your PGR friends.
See you there!
P.S. This event is only open to Postgraduate Research Students (PGRs) registered at the University of Birmingham.