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Conversations about mental health in the pandemic times

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Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm
Price: free

Conversations about mental health in the pandemic times

Please join us for this free event in which Professor Ana Nikcevic, Dr Tushna Vandrevala and Dr Louisa Pavey (Department of Psychology) will present and explore their recent research on the topic of mental health during the pandemic.

They will be joined by Rona Topaz from HealthWatch Kingston, who will discuss the impact of the pandemic on the wider Kingston community, particularly on those living with disabilities. 

All are welcome! The session will be hosted on Microsoft Teams, and the link will be emailed a day prior to the event. 


Presentation 1, Prof Ana Nikcevic: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and current challenges

There has been a rise in various forms of metal distress since the beginning of the pandemic in many countries around the world. Most commonly reported are increase in stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD and alcohol abuse. Recent data indicates that psychological distress in children has risen by around 50% over the last year.  Factors contributing to this rise in various forms of psychological distress will be explored during the presentation. A pandemic-related phenomenon, the COVID-19 Anxiety Syndrome, first described by Nikcevic & Spada (2020) will be discussed, together with its relevance to the current stage of the pandemic, as we move towards return to normality.

Presentation 2, Dr Tushna Vandrevala: How has the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated perceptions of injustice in ethnically diverse communities?

 The world is currently in the grip of a deadly global pandemic. We will discuss how ethnic minority groups (EMGs) experience COVID-19, and how this experience shapes perceptions of social (in)justice. We will discuss salient social injustice themes. Firstly, difference theme articulates how people from EMGs are seen by others outside their community as being to blame for the spread of COVID-19. Secondly, the equity and fairness theme describe how participants feel powerless, invisible and of little value outside of their community. Thirdly, the politicisation of COVID theme explains how current EMG attitudes to Government COVID-19 policy is embedded within decades of historical mistrust. Finally, the misalignment theme highlights that for EMGs, policy narratives and actions do not tie up with the reality of life and the constant struggles the endure (in for example having to feed their family). Finally, we discuss providing target solutions to tackling some of these challenges.

Presentation 3, Rona Topaz: Disabled people during and post-COVID: Inequalities and Injustices 

 Disabled people have been the victims of ideological and unnecessary austerity measures since the change of government in 2010, but even prior to this, certain decisions under Gordon Brown's Labour led to suicides and unnecessary deaths due to sanctioning. When did what was once a "social security" safety net, designed to support people through a tough time, morph into "benefits"-the largesse of a state that supports or denies support as it sees fit? And how did the pandemic enable the same ideology to end the lives of even more disabled people, and most importantly, why has this happened, and why does this affect those of us who are not disabled? 

Presentation 4, Dr Louisa Pavey: Changes to working practices during the pandemic: Psychological recovery from work and impacts on stress, anxiety, and depression

 The World Health Organisation cite fear and job insecurity as key hazards faced by workers and employees during the pandemic. Remote working and changes to working practices have also had an impact on people's psychological health during the pandemic. Workers in public-facing as well as non-public facing roles may experience increased work-related stress and uncertainty, due to changes in working practices, increased demands at work, and threats to job security. In this presentation, we discuss the role of psychological recovery from work, and its impact on stress and other psychological outcomes during the pandemic. We also discuss measures that employers could take to reduce employee stress and burnout.

Booking is essential to attend this event.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Professor Ana Nikcevic