COVID-19 and mental health: Researchers to share insights in free public webinar - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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COVID-19 and mental health: Researchers to share insights in free public webinar

9 Oct 2020

Mental health experts from USC will share some of their latest research on staying well during COVID-19 in a free online seminar next week.

The webinar Physical and mental health during COVID-19, from 6-7pm on Thursday 15 October, coincides with Queensland Mental Health Week (October 10-18) and will be the first of a community-friendly series by USC called ‘Research Unmasked’.

Senior Lecturer in Psychology Dr Rachael Sharman, one of the session’s three panellists, said the weekly series aimed to make scientific insights accessible to everyone who had been affected by lockdowns, restrictions, financial worries or concerns about health.

“In the first session, we will provide information about the mental health and wellbeing impacts of COVID-19 and offer strategies and initiatives for how we can better support ourselves and one another during times of stress and disruption,” Dr Sharman said.

“The more we understand about our minds and our brains, the better we can build resilience through uncertainty. It is fair to say most of us have been affected in some way.”  

Also on the panel will be Professor of Youth Mental Health and Neurobiology Dan Hermens from USC’s Thompson Institute, and Lecturer in Applied Science Dr Dan Wadsworth who will discuss the importance of exercise for wellbeing during COVID-19.

Each panellist will speak for 10 minutes before a moderated question-and-answer session in which the public can ask questions of the panellists.

Organiser of the series Dr Gemma Read said the ‘Research Unmasked’ series was a chance for people to understand the role of science and research in supporting communities to adapt and respond in uncertain times.

“We want people to come away from the first webinar with a sense of positivity and hope, knowing that there are researchers at the front line of mental health who are working hard to understand the impacts of the pandemic on our wellbeing and what can be done to help,” Dr Read said.

“Thanks to the Thompson Institute and our world-class researchers in the discipline of psychology, USC has much to contribute to the global discussion on mental health during COVID-19.”

Dr Read said future topics of the five-week webinar series included clinical trials for vaccinations, business adaptation and resilience, and creating COVID-safe environments.

People can register for the ‘Research Unmasked’ series www.usc.edu.au/research-unmasked

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