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World Mental Health Day 2022

It's World Mental Health Day! The perfect day for our first blog post.

This day (10th October) is recognised every year by the World Health Organisation, and this year their theme is: "Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority".

Within the Edinburgh Mental Health network (EMH), we are doing what we can to highlight all the amazing mental health research being undertaken at the University of Edinburgh. This research is not only focused on the mental health of people in the UK, but of people across the world. Just one example of this is the Generation Malawi project.

As well as exploring the mental health in different communities around the world, a big focus of the research here is to look at mental health across a person's life course. There are projects such as Edinburgh Psychoeducation Intervention for Children and Young People (EPIC) which is exploring the role of mental health and wellbeing in children and young people in a school setting. There is also research being carried out to investigate mental health and wellbeing in later life, for example, research involving the Lothian Birth Cohort 1936.

These are just two examples of the countless research being undertaken to explore mental health at every stage of life.

As a network, EMH is working to support and facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration which will lead to a better understanding of mental health. We are hoping to achieve this by creating support systems for those wanting to engage in collaboration across disciplines, and hosting events to open to people from across the University, at all different career stages, with different research interests to bring people together.

With mental health being such an expansive and complex area, kit can be difficult to know who is involved in specific research themes. EMH is bringing together individuals with varied interests from across the University and mapping the research being done to provide a central information source. Having access to this will allow us to expand our support networks and help to create a collaborative research community.

We are also focused on how we can ensure research will have the greatest benefit for the public, especially individuals, families, and communities with lived experience. There are already several research groups within the University who are very active in engaging and involving the wider community in mental health research, the Suicide Cultures team is an example of one of these groups.

The EMH network is working to develop a system to help other researchers become more involved in this engagement with the wider community so that we can make sure than mental health and wellbeing for everyone is a priority.

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