IoPPN Youth Award winners visit Denmark Hill

In two days over July and August the IoPPN Youth Awards winners visited the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at South London and NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London.

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) Youth Awards aim to encourage young people (aged 15-18) from schools in the local area to stay in science and maths education and go on to study these subjects at university. The awards began in 2013 and the number of awards have been steadily increasing in number ever since.

The NIHR Maudsley BRC specific award encourages local young people to stay in education and develop a career in science, with a specific focus on biology and psychology.

 As part of their first placement day, the award-winning students:

  •  Listened to Dr Catherine Polling's experience of being a Wellcome Research Training Fellow & ST5 General Adult Psychiatrist
  •  Took a tour of the Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre with Bernard Freeman
  •  Took part in Dr Kate Merritt's workshop on psychosis and cannabis, dopamine and environmental risk factors
  •  Leant about The HYPE Project: Young People’s involvement in research from Dr Cerisse Gunasinghe
  •  Heard a presentation from Dr Billy Gazard on The SELPh Project
  •  And prepared for November’s Youth Take Over Day

Dr Cerisse Gunasinghe, Post-doctoral Research Associate & Counselling Psychologist, Department of Psychological Medicine at the IoPPN, said, ‘Dr Billy Gazard and I are proud to be working with another creative and intelligent group of students as part of the BRC and HERON Youth Awards.' 

‘We are truly impressed with their contribution to the programme so far and we are excited about their involvement with The HYPE & SELPh Projects, HERON Conference and Youth Take Over Challenge, over the coming year.’

The students reflecting on their experiences, said:

“It was an eye-opening experience that let us explore different aspects of the mental health and the Institute”

 “Helped bridge the gap between physical and mental health which seemed to be two different components before this experience”.

In addition to the two-day placement, the students receive ongoing mentoring for a year and a £50 book token.

The 2019 IoPPN Youth Awards will open for applicants in the Autumn. They will cover a number of science-based subjects including genetics, economics, psychology, health and computer science. Applicants will need to be aged between aged 15-18; attending a school local to the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (within 5 miles of Denmark Hill) and studying a relevant subject to the individual Awards at GCSE, A level or A/S level.

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By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 16 Aug 2018, 15:33 PM

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