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The Department of Psychology's upcoming Our Mental Wellness talk on Managing Depression and Low Mood couldn't be more timely given the impact COVID-19 is having on our well being. It is as important that we pay attention to our mental health as much as to our physical health.

Willem Kuyken (the Sir John Ritblat Family Foundation Professor of Mindfulness and Psychological Science, Photo of Willem KuykenDepartment of Psychiatry), will deliver the main presentation for the talk. He said,

Depression affects more than 200 million people around the world and one billion will be affected at some point in their lifetime. The pandemic has led to increases in depression, especially in some groups, the young, women, people unable to afford an unexpected expense and people with disabilities. We know quite a lot about what helps treat and prevent depression, and both psychological and drug treatments are accessible in the NHS.

The pandemic is a perfect storm of factors that affect mood and depression. While in many ways the storm is the same for everyone, we're not all in the same boat. Some people are subject to many more stressors and some have fewer resources to cope, as we see in differential rates of prevalence in some groups.

Kia Nobre, EP's Head of Department, added, "Our department created the Our Kia Nobre photoMental Wellness series as a way to inform, dispel myths and generate discussion on a range of mental health topics. The talks are grounded in science, but are meant to be practical in nature and accessible for lay people. This is a great opportunity for students, staff and alumni to hear world-leading researchers from the University share their expertise about mental health conditions and effective evidence-based treatments."

About the talk

Sadness and low mood are normal parts of human experience. But what happens when they become more pervasive and disabling? What is depression, and what happens when depression becomes crippling and recurrent? We know a lot about low mood and depression and how to help using psychological, pharmacological and social approaches.

In this talk you’ll learn more about depression, address stigma, explore strategies for working with depression and find out how to support others with depression. Finally, there will be a brief summary of available evidence-based treatments and how to access these treatments.

Willem Kuyken will deliver the main presentation. A Q&A panel discussion will follow with Catherine Harmer (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Dept of Psychiatry) and Andrea Cipriani (Professor of Psychiatry, Dept of Psychiatry). Catharine Creswell (Professor of Developmental Clinical Psychology) will chair the event.

Practical information

The talk will take place via Zoom on Thursday 19 November, from 10:00am – 10:45am. Registration is required, and attendees will have the chance to submit a question for the panel when they register. The talk is open to University of Oxford staff and students only, but the general public is invited watch the event via YouTube livestream.

 Find out more and register

Watch the first talk in the series, Managing Stress and Overcoming Anxiety