Perspectives in mental health – A science swing session

Bushra Rahman and José Carlos Gomes were the guest speakers of the Science Swing session, which took place at ciTechCare on June 13, at 10am, with the aim of sharing experiences in the field of mental health.

Fellow of the Fulbright programme, Bushra Rahman holds a bachelor in Anthropology and Human Biology and a second major in Spanish & Portuguese and has developed several actions as an english teaching assistant at the Polytechnic of Leiria. The projects she was carrying out with children, as well as the concern with well-being and health care brought her to this session, which was led together with José Carlos Gomes, researcher at ciTechCare specialized in mental health and PhD in Public Health.

Bushra Rahman presented her work entitled ‘When infants cry: understanding mental health and social support in single mothers’. Her work did not show significant differences in the levels of frustration in response to infant crying between single and non-single mother, however some factors were considered to better understand the mothers’ frustration response, like the sex of the infant, the length of exposure to the cry, the higher incidence of certain acoustic qualities of the cry or the negative affect of the mother.

Based on the paintings of Edvard Munch, an artist diagnosed with depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, José Carlos Gomes explained the way this painter saw mental health and highlighted the importance of practicing a Community-Based Participatory Research, involving the community and the researchers to better understand mental health and promote social changes.

In addition to demystifying issues about mental health, the session intended to foster the sharing of knowledge among internal and external researchers, stimulating new scientific partnerships and expanding future collaborative networks.