15 May 2018
Time: 7:00 - 10:00pm
Venue: The Griff Inn BLSA Building, Stepney Way, Whitechapel, London E1 2AE, London E1 2AE
2 Million Londoners from all walks of life experience some form of poor mental health every year. Cities like London can be taxing places to live – built-up, polluted, and highly populated. But they may also bring better access to vital services, or support networks. So, is London really bringing us down? And what can be done to tackle it? This event, in partnership with mental health research charity, MQ, will explore the science behind these issues. Hosted by Radio 4’s science correspondent, Tom Feilden, you’ll hear from experts researching the area and championing new solutions.
Your host for the night
Tom Feilden (Radio 4’s science correspondent)
Tom joined the BBC as a general news reporter in 1990, interviewing Mikhail Gorbachev on a train to Cornwall for Radio 1 and covering the conflict in Rwanda before joining the Today programme. After a brief stint at Newsnight, Tom returned to Today to focus on science and the environment. He covers an eclectic mix of developments in physics and astronomy, medicine, genetics, wildlife and climate change - from super massive black holes to preserving adder habitats. Born in 1964, Tom graduated from Sussex University in 1986. He lives in north London with his partner and three children.
The Madding Crowd: does urban living affect psychosis risk?
Dr James Kirkbride. (Reader in Epidemiology. University College London. )
What is it about living in cities that put people at risk of developing mental health conditions? And why are rates of severe mental illness up to 8 times higher in some urban regions? Dr James Kirkbride and his team at PsyLife Research Group at University College London are investigating the the social and economic factors that might be at play. James will give an overview of current evidence. And he’ll talk about how our social, built and physical environments can affect the risk of psychosis, and why migrants and their descendants show elevated rates of psychotic disorder.
How can the built environment improve public mental health?
Dr. Layla McCay (Director, Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health)
People who live in cities are more likely to experience mental health problems such as stress, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia - so what is it about cities that causes this increased risk, and what can urban planners and designers do about it? Dr Layla McCay from the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health reveals four key ways in which the built environment can help improve public mental health.
A Day in the Life: London and mental health
Mark Brown (Mental health writer, activist and researcher)
Mark Brown is a mental health writer, activist and researcher. He led the Day in the Life project supported by Public Health England - a year-long study collecting the everyday experiences of people who experience mental health difficulties in England. Drawing on Day in the Life findings, he’ll explore what the lived experience of mental health issues is like for people in cities, the role of technology and social isolation, and whether the idea of a ‘good life’ exists - or is even relevant anyway.