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Charles Darwin House, 12 Roger Street, London WC1N 2JU

A free Policy Lates event discussing what biology can tell us about mental health and wellbeing, and how it can inform policy making.

Improving people's wellbeing is perhaps the ultimate goal of almost all government policy. Mental health is a major driver of wellbeing, yet one in four people in the UK suffer from a mental health problem each year, with enormous cost to individuals and society. Treatment for mental health has historically been deemed a lower priority than physical health, but in the last few years, NHS England has stated in its Mandate the commitment to “put mental health on a par with physical health”.

Further, in January 2017 the Prime Minister unveiled plans to transform mental health support. This Policy Lates event, on World Mental Health Day, will examine the biology that underpins mental health and how this can inform policy to improve wellbeing.


Professor Jeremy Pritchard CSciTeach FRSB

Director of Education for College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham and Chair, RSB Education, Training and Policy Committee


Dr Valerie Gladwell

Centre for Sports & Exercise Science, University of Essex

Dr Karen Mifsud

School of Clinical Sciences, University of Bristol

Professor Barbara Sahakian FRSB

Department of Psychiatry and Medical Research Council, University of Cambridge

Professor Clare Stanford FRSB

Faculty of Life Sciences, University College London

Policy Lates format

This event is free and open to all. It is part of our Policy Lates series, which provides an opportunity for relaxed discussion with an interested and informed audience. It will begin with a brief introduction from the chair, followed by short talks from our four panellists, with ample time for audience questions and panel discussion. The event will end with time for informal networking and refreshments.

Social media

This event will be live streamed and available to view afterwards on the Biochemical Society Facebook page.


Please direct specific event queries to science policy officer, Dr Jonathan Carruthers, and any booking queries to events & regional manager, Karen Patel at


This event is being run with support from the Biochemical Society, as well as the British Ecological Society and The Physiological Society - which this year has had a focus on making sense of stress.

Mental health training events

We are running two mental health training events on 8th November. Register now for our unconscious bias (09:30-12:30) and/or our mental health in the workplace (13:30-16:30) events.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

This event has been approved by the Royal Society of Biology for the purposes of CPD and attending is worth 9 CPD points.

Find out about other Biology Week 2017 events on our calendar!