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Review of the SMHRN Annual Scientific Meeting 2015: 'Youth Mental Health'

Date: 29th October 2015
Venue: Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

The Scottish Mental Health Research Network hosted its 7th Annual Scientific Meeting at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh on the 29th October 2015. The theme of the meeting was 'Youth Mental Health'.

The ASM was attended by over 180 delegates from accross Scotland; including researchers, clinicians service users and a variety of people working in the youth mental health field. The day was chaired by the SMHRN Director, Prof Stephen Lawrie along with some members of the SMHRN management group including Prof Andrew Gumley, Dr Jonathan Cavanagh, Prof Keith Matthews and Prof Steff Lewis. Speakers included Dr Mina Fazel (Oxford), Dr Stella Chan (Edinburgh), Prof Helen Minnis (Glasgow), Prof Andrew Jahoda (Glasgow), Prof Susanne Harder (Copenhagen), Dr Peter Uhlhaas (Glasgow), Prof David Coghill (Dundee) and Laura Caven (Edinburgh).

We received approx 29 poster submissions. Dr Alison McColl (Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Glasgow) won the best poster prize for her presentation entitled "Skin inflammation induces a transcriptional brain response, lymphocyte infiltration and functional changes". The student prize was awarded to Eilidh Smith (PhD Student, University of Edinburgh) for "Cognitive Biases and facets of low mood in adolescents". Congratulations to them both!

A selection of speakers presentations are available on request. Please email the network administrator to request these.

Feedback from delegates

"I feel more up to date on recent research developments relevant to child and adolescent mental health"

"A better understanding of mental health services in the education system"

"Learned more about research methodologies"

"Gained new perspective on how mental health issues can originate at a young age, and how prevention strategies can be implemented"

"Useful event for networking and hearing about current research in mental health services in schools"

"I really valued the range of speakers but also in the afternoon session, the opportunity for discussion with delegates and the presenter was appreciated"

"Hearing the great work already happening in this field was super"


Review of the SMHRN Annual Scientific Meeting 2014 -

De-stigmatising Mental Illness: the Role of Science & Experience

Date: 11th December 2014
Venue: John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls, Edinburgh

The SMHRN 2014 ASM was held on the 11th December at the University of Edinburgh's John McIntyre Centre, Pollock Halls

The theme of the meeting explored the de-stigmatisation of mental illness and role of science and experience. In a departure from our established arrangement, last year's meeting incorporated parallel sessions in addition to plenary alongside input from the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Peter Byrne, Neil Quinn and Richard Warden introduced a selection of films from past festivals and chaired discussion around the themes raised by these.

Isabella Goldie's (Mental Health Foundation) examination of the design and implementation of a national anti-stigma programme (See Me) wonderfully set the scene for a day of discussion, debate and contemplation. Parallel sessions by Scottish Recovery Network manager Simon Bradstreet, Journalist Erica Camus and researchers Graeme Nisbet and Catherine Eadie further explored notions of stigma while a new poster presentation idea was trialled.

Poster authors were asked to give a three minute summary of their work with the audience being encouraged to ask one or two short questions. Dr Everett Julyan (Consultant Psychiatrist, NHS Ayrshire and Arran) won the best poster prize for his presentation entitled "Are babies exposed to mental illness or psychotropics in utero at increased risk of neonatal admission?" The student prize was awarded to Yong-Hui Soo (PhD Student, University of Dundee) for "Impact of Illicit Drug Use on Pregnancy outcomes". Congratulations to them both!

Keith Laws from the University of Hertfordshire gave a very well received critique of the evidence for the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) in psychosis in the post-lunch plenary session before the meeting split for additional parallel groups. Joanne McLean (MHF) evaluated the utility of the See Me programme. Jude Clarke (Heal the Whole of Me) explored the benefits of co-production in mental health research and author Cathy Wield spoke about her experience of stigma at the hands of the medical profession. The third plenary session comprised a lecture from Diana Rose on the difficulties of social contact. SMHRN Director Stephen Lawrie gave the closing remarks along with poster prizes.

This ASM was our biggest and most successful so far. Delegates and speakers from across Scotland and the rest of the UK joined to appreciate a wide ranging debate on the nature and prevalence of stigma in mental health, how we are trying to combat it and strategies for the future.

Feedback from delegates

"Increased awareness of the impact of internalised stigma on recovery and thoughts on increasing service user involvement in researct"

"Really interesting and diverse presentations/workshops and discussions"

"Very much enjoyed the films shown from the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival"

"I enjoyed networking with people from a range of services, including arts and service users"

"I gained a good experience presenting my poster"



Past SMHRN Annual Meetings: