Posted: Wed 2nd Mar 2016

University welcomes Shadow Mental Health Minister /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Mar 2nd, 2016

Luciana Berger MP visits new Brain Research Imaging Centre ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health Luciana Berger MP has visited the University to see first-hand how investment in world-class facilities will make a real difference in helping researchers better understand mental illness. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Luciana Berger visited Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre, the new £44m facility which hosts a combination of equipment unique in Europe. It will have the capacity to open new windows on the brain and help researchers to understand the causes of conditions such as dementia, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Her visit comes ahead of University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day on 3 March, which aims to promote the mental health of people who live and work in the higher education sector. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

During her time at the University Luciana Berger also visited the University’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, which has brought together academic strengths in psychiatry, neuroscience and psychology to take new discoveries and translate them into greater understanding and diagnosis of mental illness and brain disorders. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

She also met with researchers from the National Centre for Mental Health who are building a databank of around 4,000 volunteers to provide scientists with the materials to find out more about what causes mental health problems such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD and PTSD, together with leading efforts in the community to tackle stigma associated with mental illness. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Luciana Berger MP, Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health said: “We need a revolution in the ways we perceive and treat mental illness in the UK. One of the main changes has to be a shift towards prevention of mental illness, and that starts with a clearer understanding of its causes. That’s why I am delighted to visit the world-class research centre here in Cardiff, and meet such dedicated experts. The work they do is inspirational. I am confident it will lead to improved treatments for mental illness for millions of people.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Professor Derek Jones, Director of the University’s Brain Research Imaging Centre, said: “Cardiff University has a strong track record in terms of mental health research. The investment in world-leading facilities such as these further enhances Cardiff’s reputation as a centre of excellence. By working closely with industry and policymakers, researchers can translate scientific advances into real benefits for patients both in Wales, and worldwide”. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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