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MHaPS Festival 2023 ;

Showcasing cutting-edge research and educational success at inaugural MHaPS Festival

Professor Dame Til Wykes

Head of School of Mental Health & Psychological Sciences

06 December 2023

On 31 October 2023, we were delighted to host our first Mental Health & Psychological Sciences School Festival - a celebration of the diverse research and educational activities taking place across the School.

The School of Mental Health & Psychological Sciences (MHaPS) is home to more than 100 principal investigators across four departments: Psychology, Biostatistics & Health Informatics, Health Service & Population Research, and Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry. We are part of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London, and excel in all aspects of research, education, and clinical translation.

This year's festival transformed the Ortus on Denmark Hill Campus into a hub for research exploration, idea sharing, and connection. The festival was not only an event, but a significant milestone in our School's journey, bringing together researchers and educators to showcase our diverse work.

The festival highlighted MHaPS commitment to collaboration in a series of lightning and keynote talks spanning both education and research.

Our first keynote was from Dr Ioannis Bakolis, who delved into the association between air pollution and mental health. He discussed his findings on the link between traffic-related air pollution and a range of negative outcomes, including common mental health disorders and use of services in children and adolescents, as well as other diagnoses such as psychosis, dementia, and multiple long-term conditions. He also looked to future solutions such as moving towards low carbon, car free, socially inclusive, and bio-diverse urban environments.

In our second keynote, Dr Julia Ouzia explored inclusivity in education. She described the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework on the BSc Psychology programme, a model which uses an evidence-informed approach to promote engagement, representation, action, and expression of all learners regardless of their individual needs. Dr Ouzia also introduced us to UDL training for staff to promote inclusivity in our classrooms.

We didn’t sit in a room all afternoon, but had regular ‘Meet the Presenter’ sessions so researchers and educators could open new conversations sparked by the array of talks.

Beyond celebrating our School's accomplishments, the festival was an opportunity to foster new connections and inter-department collaborations. By creating a platform for celebration and collaboration, the festival is a pivotal step towards nurturing a cohesive School community – one of our strategic milestones.

Videographer, David Martin, captured the essence of the festival in the fantastic video below:

The MHaPS festival was such a fantastic success! There was a good open atmosphere with lots of engagement and discussion, as well as excellent talks across so many different areas. It really was a joint celebration of Education and Research.– MHaPS Festival Attendee

About the School of Mental Health & Psychological Sciences

Our School is home to innovative methodological and clinical sciences that underpin research on mental health and neurological disorders. Our BSc Psychology programme has ranked third in the UK for two years running, and we also have 11 leading postgraduate taught and postgraduate research programmes across a range of fields. Through MHaPS research-led teaching, we are training the next generation of researchers and clinical practitioners.

Our researchers delve into a huge range of fields, from psychology, genetics, and mental health to health economics, statistics, and informatics. This research underscores our comprehensive exploration of mental and physical health, spanning development from childhood to old age. 

MHaPS researchers and educators collaborate not only across the IoPPN and King’s, but also with local NHS partners, the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, King's Clinical Trials Unit, King's Health Partners, and a network of national and international collaborators. Our scientific breakthroughs have an impact on both individuals and their families, as well as contributing to improved physical and mental health, improved services, and benefits to society.

I hope you are as excited as I am to see some of the fresh ideas and collaborations that have emerged from the festival. We are now looking forward to launching our new School webpages in the New Year, showcasing our excellence in research and education online.

In this story

Til Wykes

Til Wykes

Head of School for Mental Health & Psychological Sciences

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