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LOUPS Mental Health Seminar

28th September 2019, LSE, London
Online booking has now closed, please contact london@oups.org.uk for availability.

In 2015 the London branch of the Open University Psychological Society (LOUPS) ran our first Mental Health Seminar. This proved to be extremely popular and we have therefore decided to repeat this seminar every two years, covering a new set of topics each time.

The event will consist of a series of talks and workshops and will appeal to those studying or working in mental health and psychology. In particular, this time, we will focus on mental health problems in the field of stress and resilience, including addiction and obsession, well-being and the effect on performance.

This seminar and workshop is open to everyone and no previous experience is necessary.

SPECIAL OFFER: LOUPS October pub social with Dr. Babak Fozooni only £5 if you book this at the same time as the Mental Health Seminar.

This is a whole day event, with talks starting at 10.00 am and registration from 9.30 am, finishing at approx. 5pm.

A timetable for the day is available to download here LOUPS MH Seminar timetable and a flier is available from Mental Health Seminar 2019


  • The Mental Health Foundation 'Stress: are we coping?'

    A growing strong body of research unsurprisingly suggests that chronic stress, and exposure to stressors, can have a negative impact on mental health. The experience of stressful life events has been found to be associated with depressive symptoms and the onset of major depression, as well as suicide, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

    In this session, Christine-Koulla Burke, the Inequalities Programme Lead at the Mental Health Foundation (https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/) will present the report on Stress in the UK that they commissioned and carried out in 2018. She will also discuss recent work in the area of student mental health, including priorities for future research in this area.

  • Dr. Gini Harrison - 'Introduction to Sophrology'

    Sophrology is a relatively new practice, that uses body and mind techniques to help manage anxiety and stress, and promote wellbeing. It is influenced by mindfulness, yoga, meditation, progressive relaxation and phenomenology. While it is commonly used throughout France, Spain and Switzerland, it has only recently made it over to the UK.

    Gini will give a whistle stop tour of Sophrology, and introduce an 8-week Sophrology course of stress/anxiety management and relaxation sessions that she will be offering to students.

    Attendees will have the opportunity to register to attend the full 8-week course free of charge, subject to availability.

  • Dr Gillian Ragsdale -'Epigenetics and resilience: putting the gin back in the bottle'

    Exposure to either stress or drugs (legal or otherwise) share many epigenetic processes that can lead to a vicious circle of escalating stress reactivity, depression and substance abuse. Yet many people are resilient despite experiencing intense trauma and adversity. How can we harness our increasing understanding of these processes to promote resilience to psychological conditions such as depression and substance abuse disorders ?

    Gill's main area of interest is the evolution and biology of the mind and behaviour—especially in the contexts of social behaviour, family dynamics, kinship and the role of epigenetics in mediating gene-environment interaction.  Gillian currently teaches psychology with the Open University.

  • Professor Frederick Toates -'Stress, addictions and obsessions’

    The lecture will start by considering briefly the similarities between obsessions and addictions and will then define the differences. It will present evidence that both addiction and OCD are strongly influenced by stress. The emphasis of the lecture will be on the means by which stress influences behaviour that is characterized as ‘addiction’, using examples of drugs, eating, sex and smartphones.

    Frederick is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the Open University and President of OUPS. His research concerns motivation and emotion and the application of basic principles to understanding a wide range of behaviour, including addictions and obsessions. His latest publication“ A framework for understanding sexual violence: Incentive-motivation and hierarchical control” appeared in the journal 'Aggression and Violent Behavior'.

  • Dr Jutta Tobias-Mortlock - 'Mindfulness as team sport'

    "Mindfulness is about being and staying present to the situations we find ourselves in life, and responding appropriately to the challenges we face. But mindfulness is more than meditation or other contemplative practices that individuals can do by themselves to take time out from their busy (work) lives.

    In this interactive session, I will work with you to discover how you can bring mindfulness to your personal work life, as well as to the groups and teams you work with, so that mindfulness can seep into social interactions and ultimately help shift social and work cultures towards more open-mindedness. I will draw on the latest insights from social neurobiology and provide examples from my work with military leaders to explain what this means concretely in living and breathing organisations.

    My goal for the session is to make sure you go away with at least one practical insight that you can apply immediately when you return your focus to your own life and work, to help you (and perhaps even those around you) stay present in the face of stress, and respond productively."

    Jutta is a social psychologist with over 20 years of work experience in organisational development and capacity-building in six countries on three continents. Her research interest is focused on behaviour change initiatives in workplaces geared at generating sustainable wellbeing and performance. She teaches and consults on workplace mindfulness and leadership and is a popular keynote speaker on the link between wellbeing and performance. 


LSE New Academic Building

The New Academic Building,
London School of Economics,
54 Lincoln's Inn Fields,


Click here for information on accessibility, parking and other related facilities.

Travel and directions

The nearest underground station is Holborn, approx. five minutes walk away.

Click here for directions to the New Academic Building, London School of Economics.



Places for this seminar are limited and are likely to sell out !

We strongly recommend booking this event in advance due to its popularity. Also please note that all tickets on the day, if they are still available, will be £45 (no member discount).

If you have any enquiries about the Mental Health Seminar please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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