Building on the success of the first series of Let’s Talk Mental Health, a second series was launched to mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 to promote discussion, remove stigma and increase knowledge of mental health. #LetsTalkMentalHealthII aims to:

  1. Look ahead to the future for young people in mental health
  2. Highlight young people’s voice in mental health
  3. Promote the work of emerging disciplines in mental health
  4. Emphasise the perspectives of people with lived experience of mental health difficulties.

The project led by Louise Arseneault, ESRC Mental Health Leadership Fellow, features five short discussions between young professionals and individuals with lived experiences of mental health problems. The discussions are themed on Museums, Technology, Architecture, Genetics and Music – to explore their relationships with mental health and wellbeing.

Follow #LetsTalkMentalHealthII to find out more.

Nuala Morse meets George-David Hodgson (Museums) 

Nuala Morse is a Lecturer in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. She met with George-David Hodgson, who is a fashionpreneuer and mental health campaigner at Science Gallery London. They both spoke about the wellbeing benefits of engaging with community assets like museums and how to encourage more young people to do so. The discussion also addressed important questions like what can be done to prevent mental ill health in young people, and the importance of creativity in improving mental health and wellbeing.

YouTube link:
Link to blog with Mental Elf:
Link to blog with MQ:

Sarah Doherty meets Chris Nightingale (Technology) 

Sarah Doherty is the Youth Lead for eNurture Mental Health Network and develops mental health apps in her spare time. Sarah met with Chris Nightingale who is an IT Coordinator for a GP surgery. They both discussed how data and technology can help to improve patient care and discussed pertinent issues like the role of social media on peoples’ mental health.

YouTube link:

Evangelia Chrysikou meets Samara Morris (Architecture) 

Evangelia Chrysikou is a Lecturer at the UCL Bartlett Real Estate Institute. She met with Samara Morris who is a professional photographer and a mental health campaigner. They both discussed architectures impact on mental health and wellbeing and the importance of design in catering for people with mental health difficulties. The conversation unravelled on how photography can be used as a tool to promote mental health and wellbeing.

YouTube link:
Link to blog with MQ: Transforming Mental Health:

Bryon Creese meets Katie Yates (Genetics) 

Byron Creese is a Senior Research Fellow working in genetics research at the University of Exeter. He met with Katie Yates who is Project and Communications Officer at The Lord Mayor’s Appeal at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre. They discussed the importance of genetic discoveries, workplace mental health and the future of mental health research. 

YouTube link:
Link to blog with Mental Elf:

Saoirse Finn meets Florence Sharman (Arts and Health) 

Saoirse Finn is a Visiting Researcher at UCL and researches arts, community and social engagement for public health. She met with Florence Sharman who is a passionate mental health campaigner at the Royal College of Music to discuss the role of arts and music on mental health and wellbeing. They discussed the role of schools in supporting young children with mental ill health and the relationship between arts and music and chemicals in the brain.

YouTube link:
Link to blog with Mental Elf:

Luciana Berger MP interviewed by Jonny Benjamin MBE

Jonny interviewed Luciana in her office at Westminster about her motivation to pursue mental health as a political cause. Jonny spoke with Luciana about suicide and the disproportionate affect that it has on young men and questioned Luciana on her hopes in mental health for the nation.


Peter Fonagy interviewed by Humma Andleeb

Humma Andleeb is a trainee researcher for the McPin Foundation. Coming from an ethnic minority background, she was keen to find out from Peter Fonagy - CEO of the Anna Freud Centre - how culture is interrelated with mental health.

Peter delved into his experience of developing MSc and Doctorate programmes at UCL and the need to develop social interventions in biological risk of mental health conditions. Both Humma and Peter spoke about how their mental health conditions helped them shape their careers – and shared their ambitions for the mental health field. Peter highlighted the importance of recruiting the best candidates to build a workforce in the mental health field.


Sir Michael Rutter interviewed by Jack Welch

Jack Welch is a vocal advocate for people with learning disabilities and he interviewed Sir Professor Michael Rutter - Founder, of the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre - who is hailed as the father of child psychology. In the interview Sir Michael discussed the importance of being a questioning scientist and how it has led him to discover things he wasn’t necessarily thinking about.

Jack spoke about his personal experiences with autism and how his diagnosis has helped him engage with the community and campaign with charities such as Autistica. Sir Michael delved into the importance of colleagues, and the development of mental health in the public since the beginning of his career. Sir Michael spoke about wanting his legacy to be a supportive approach to junior people in trying to deal with situations in a problem-solving way.


Sarah Hughes interviewed by Dr Kai Syng Tan

Artist, curator and researcher Dr Kai Syng Tan spoke with Sarah Hughes, CEO of the Centre for Mental Health, about her hopes for the mental health of the nation. Kai and Sarah both spoke about the important role that women play in mental health, and Sarah spoke about her 'First Night in Custody' project which provided mental health support to incarcerated women.

Sarah spoke about the importance of developing compassion for those with mental health conditions and increasing funding for mental health research. Kai spoke about her ADHD and how she uses art a process of enquiry to learn more about mental health.


Lord Richard Layard interviewed by Katy Pickles

Katy is a musician and a Young Ambassador for the UK’s leading eating disorder charity, Beat. Richard Layard is Programme Co-Director at the LSE Centre for Economic Performance. During the interview Professor Layard discussed his primary research focus on happiness and mental health (and the linkages) and what motivated his journey. Professor Layard spoke about economics and population mental health and his work in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. Katy spoke about how her music has acted as a mechanism to cope with her mental health conditions and used the interview to explore how her economic position affects her mental health and happiness. Richard also shared what personally makes him happy.


Speaking at The Haruv International Conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Watch
Speaking on the Potential outcomes associated with cannabis use: Epidemiological findings from New Zealand Watch
Speaking at the University of Montreal on: The psychological and physiological impacts of victimization during childhood (French) Watch
Animation on mental health consequences of bullying Watch
Things I Now Know: Louise Arseneault blog for MQ Read
Mental health research funding blog for Mental Elf Read
Social science research blog for ESRC Read
Can we prevent the occurrence of bullying victimization? Blog for IEPA Network: Read
The Anatomy of Loneliness Listen
Canadian Medical Association Journal Podcast on bullying and victimization in childhood: effects on mental health during adolescence Listen
Louise speaks on Mariella Frostrup programme on friendships and loneliness Listen
Louise speaks to Dan Olweus about the negative mental health impact of bullying Listen
Medical News Today coverage on article on how ‘Loneliness may harm sleep quality for young adults’ Read
News article by BBC on ‘Child bullying victims still suffering at 50' Read
News article by Mirror on how ‘Young people live in fear of the future – and nearly half can’t imagine getting a stable job’ Read
Article written for The Conversation on how ‘The health impact of childhood bullying can last a lifetime’ Read
News article by BBC on how ‘Young people fear stigma if they ask for mental-health help’ Read
News article by The Telegraph on how ‘Bullying at school affects health 40 years later' Read
News article by The Telegraph on ‘Half of young people have so many emotional problems they cannot focus on school' Read
News article by Reuters on how ‘Forty years on, bullying takes its toll on health and wealth’ Read
News article by BBC on ‘Is cannabis really a killer?’ Read
News article by The Guardian on ‘Twin Set’ Read
News article by Huffington Post look at ‘Has cannabis been secretly genetically modified to render it more dangerous?’ Read
News article by Daily Mail on ‘Were you bullied as a child? Why the effects could last a lifetime: victims are twice as likely to suffer mental health problems as adults’ Read