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Mental health: Is it all in the head?

Relationships between mental health, food and the gut are the focus of our final lecture in the OpenCampus Autumn series at the University of Hull on Wednesday 12 December.

Exploring the most recent perspectives on the food/mental wellbeing relationship, Professor Colin Martin will give valuable insights to this relationship within the context of reproductive mental wellbeing, the brain and the gut.

He will also discuss his latest book, Probiotics in Mental Health.  

Professor Martin said:

“Psychoanalysis has provided a unique insight into the functioning of the mind from both a theoretical and therapeutic perspective.

“Often overlooked, is the use of food as a metaphor for psychological distress and disturbance.  Interestingly, within contemporary models of psychiatric theory and practice, the role of food as a crucial component of good mental health is underplayed.  This area of research is maturing apace and during the talk I shall seek to highlight both the challenges and opportunities associated with this aspect of mental health research and practice.”

Professor Martin’s talk will be of particular interest to students, clinicians, patients, and practitioners working in this field – but everyone is welcome. The aim of these talks is to share academic and research with a wide audience.

As Professor of Perinatal Mental Health, Colin is one of several professors appointed to the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences this year, bringing new, high-calibre research and increasing capacity to address key health challenges in the region and beyond.

"Professor Martin’s work will undoubtedly be thought provoking about the potential interface between individual experience, the brain and the gut and the implications for good mental health, which of course can be influential in the health of future generations." Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull

Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Hull, said:

“This is a really exciting area of research – particularly in relation to the health of pregnant women and new mums. Professor Martin’s work will undoubtedly be thought provoking about the potential interface between individual experience, the brain and the gut and the implications for good mental health, which of course can be influential in the health of future generations. I am delighted that Professor Martin is able to share his work with a wider audience through the OpenCampus series.”

Professor Martin is a Registered Nurse, Chartered Health Psychologist and a Chartered Scientist. He has published or has in press approximately 200 peer-reviewed journal research papers and over 80 book chapters. He has an enduring interest in perinatal mental health and well-being and as part of this interest has developed a number of validated measures for use within perinatal research and clinical practice, including the Perceptions of Care Adjective Check List-Revised (PCACL-R), the Oxford Worries about Labour Scale (OWLS), the Understanding Bereavement Evaluation Tool (UBET), the Professional Issues in Maternal Mental Health Scale (PIMMHS),the Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Scale (PMHA), the Perinatal Illness Perceptions Scale (PIPS), and the Birth Satisfaction Scale-Revised (BSS-R).  The BSS-R is an outcome measure now recommended for global use by the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) in the Pregnancy and Childbirth Standard Set, and the derivative BSS-RI has been used in the National Maternity Survey (England and Wales).  He is a keen book author and editor having written and/or edited eighteen books all of which reflect his diverse academic and clinical interests that examine in-depth, the interface between mental health and physical health. These include: Perinatal Mental Health: A Clinical Guide, and Scientific Basis of Healthcare: AIDS and Pregnancy.

The OpenCampus series of talks is open to everyone and frequently attracts a wonderful mix of clinicians, students, academics, and family members who have a particular interest whether they are carers, parents, patients or simply keen to find out more. The academic staff and postgraduates share their research and insights on a subject and this is often followed by very lively discussion.

The OpenCampus Programme is an informal and friendly way for visitors to learn at the University. The programme includes culture café sessions, a series of tea-time talks and the OpenCampus reading group.

Jackie McAndrew, Public Engagement and Postgraduate Researcher Experience Specialist, said: “The subjects covered in the programme are wide ranging, contemporary, historical, sometimes controversial, often challenging but always interesting and thought provoking. We like to make our sessions accessible for adults of all ages who are new to the subject. You are warmly invited to come along and try one of them for yourself.

“The University has some of the most talented and innovative teachers of this generation, and some of the keenest minds in the country undertaking cutting-edge research and teaching. These talented members of staff are working with us to develop the OpenCampus Programme, giving you the chance to hear about their meaningful research, fantastic ideas and expertise in a relaxed and informal setting.”

Admission is free for all health talks, listed below, but booking is required. Book online here

 From superego to super gut: Transitioning from psychoanalysis to psychobiology in understanding the relationship of food to reproductive mental wellbeing

Colin R. Martin, Professor of Perinatal Mental Health, University of Hull.
6.30-8.30pm, Wednesday 12 December 2018.
Allam Medical Building LT1.

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