On Wednesday, 14 November, join us in the Project Room, 50 George Square, for a series of short talks centring on cultural representations of mental health as part of Student Wellbeing Week.
Session 1 – Talks (11am to 1pm)
Marking a joint effort between several Schools and Support Services across the University, Facts and Fallacies aims to open up an honest discussion on mental health in a safe environment through six wide-ranging talks comprising neuroscience perspectives on mental wellbeing, complex mental illness in the media, BAME mental health in the UK, mental health representations in the Lothian Health Services Archive, and gendered aspects of mental health.
Staff and students from the Chaplaincy and Wellcomm Kings will be on hand throughout this event to support attendees and offer additional information regarding University of Edinburgh resources for mental wellbeing.
Tea and coffee will be shared on arrival from 11am to 11:10am.
Short talks chaired by Professor Jolyon Mitchell
- Professor Stephen Lawrie – Nine Myths about Depression and its treatment.
- Dr. Alice White – Gendered representations of mental health in history (tbc).
- Dr. Laura A. Cariola – Presentations of Complex Mental Illness in the Media: A discursive focus on Borderline Personality Disorder. This presentation reports on an in-depth corpus-assisted discourse analysis which explores how borderline personality disorder is presented in UK newspaper articles and medical case studies. Special attention is given to identifying how discourse types compare in their communication of stereotypes and prejudices that create and reinforce existing social stigma against individuals affected by mental illness.
- Louise Neilson – Inside the Asylum: Archival records of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Looking at the surviving records of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital this talk will focus on the asylum buildings and the conditions for the patients housed within them.
- Rianna Walcott – The Colour of Madness – BAME mental health and scholarship. This talk will explore issues of poor mental health amongst BAME students, and in the wider UK. With reference to Rianna’s own experience as a black student at the University of Edinburgh and in collating BAME experiences for the anthology The Colour of Madness, the talk will address current failings in mental health services as well as contemporary activist efforts for improvement of UK healthcare.
- Angela McLaughlin – Project Soothe. A unique ‘Citizen Science’ project combining research and public engagement with the goal of developing a bank of soothing images to improve mental health and wellbeing. Since its launch in 2015, Project Soothe has collected over 700 images from members of the public in 29 countries. Its multi-cultural global research has already established that viewing 25 of these images significantly improves people’s mood even if depressive symptoms are present. Find out more and get involved at www.ProjectSoothe.com
This session will also conclude with an open discussion on the topics presented facilitated by two co-chairs offering both staff and student perspectives. We hope you’ll join us for what promises to be an insightful morning. Together, we hope to build deeper understandings of mental health in order to strengthen our community as a whole.
Session 2 – Wikipedia editing event (1.30pm-5.30pm)
Join us in Computing Lab 1.02 on the first floor of 50 George Square, for a Wikipedia editathon focused on improving the coverage of mental health online.
Have you ever wondered why the information in Wikipedia is extensive for some topics and scarce for others? On Wednesday, 14 November, the University’s Information Services team are hosting an edit-a-thon as part of Wellbeing Week. Full Wikipedia editing training will be given at the beginning of the workshop. Thereafter the afternoon’s editathon will focus on improving the quality of articles about all things related to mental health.
Working together with liaison librarians, archivists & academic colleagues we will provide training on how to edit and participate in an open knowledge community. Participants will be supported to develop articles covering areas which could stand to be improved.
Come along to learn about how Wikipedia works and contribute a greater understanding of mental health!
Session 3 – Screening the Inner World: Mental Health and Emotion in Film and Television (6pm-7.30pm)
Cinema and television have contributed greatly to public understanding and misunderstanding of mental health, emotion and psychological and psychiatric practices. In this panel discussion we will screen a number of clips from a range of films and programmes and invite panellists and the audience to reflect on the representations of mental health and illness. We will discuss the practical effect that such representations may have on the public perception of mental health and also explore the specific ways in which the moving image tries to show our apparently invisible inner worlds and emotional lives.
This event will be chaired by Dr. David Sorfa, Programme Director MSc Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
Invited panellists include:
- Dr. Calum Neil – Associate Professor of Psychoanalysis & Cultural Theory at Edinburgh Napier University.
- Dr. Laura Cariola – applied linguist and a chartered member of the British Psychological Society, Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology, and a member of the Division of Counselling Psychology.
- Dr. Rosie Stenhouse – With a background in Social Science and mental health nursing, Rosie joined Nursing Studies at the University of Edinburgh as a full time lecturer in 2013. Her teaching focuses on research methods in mental health including a course she developed on Contemporary issues in mental health: engagement through the arts, humanities and social science, and critical engagement with professional issues relating to working in healthcare organisations.
- Professor Stephen Lawrie – Chair of Psychiatry and Neuro-Imaging & Head of the Division of Psychiatry at the University of Edinburgh.
While we will steer away from the more lurid and gruesome representations of mental distress, some may find the topics raised or scenes depicted upsetting. Please do check the BBFC descriptions of the material to be screened here: http://www.bbfc.co.uk
Short clips from the following films may be shown:
- Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)
- A Page of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1926)
- Gaslight (George Cukor, 1944)
- Spellbound (Alfred Hitchcock, 1945)
- Whirlpool (Otto Preminger, 1950)
- The Three Faces of Eve (Nunnally Johnson, 1957)
- Asylum (Peter Robinson, 1972)
- Demons of the Mind (Peter Sykes, 1972)
- The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
- Frances (Graeme Clifford, 1982)
- An Angel at My Table (Jane Campion, 1990)
- Girl, Interrupted (James Mangold, 1999)
- In Absentia (Stephen and Timothy Quay, 2000)
- Prozac Nation (Erik Skjoldbjærg, 2001)
- Lunacy (Jan Švankmajer, 2005)
- Mad Detective (Johnnie To, 2007)
- A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg, 2011)
- Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)
- Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)
- Mad to Be Normal (Robert Mullan, 2017)
- Killing Eve (BBC1, 2018)
- Maniac (Netflix, 2018)