MRC Unit Visit

World-class scientists and psychiatrists spent a day with students at the Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology teaching them about mental health and wellbeing.

The team of experts from the University of Cambridge’s MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit and Department of Psychiatry spent last Thursday (16th) at the Academy talking to Year 10 students about the teenage brain and how it works, what happens to the brain when it is under stress, along with ways to stay well.

Interactive workshops, designed to engage students, ran throughout the day. In one, a volunteer was asked to answer challenging maths questions whilst standing with their hand in a bowl of ice-cold water to demonstrate how stress affects a person’s ability to think clearly.

The second workshop involved students being given a super sour sweet and being asked to hold it in their mouths for as long as they could whilst Dr Melissa Black, from the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, talked them through the process.

The aim of the workshop was to teach students about working through uncomfortable emotions – using the analogy  that working through something uncomfortable and coming out the other end demonstrates to young people the importance of working through difficult situations knowing that things will improve in time.

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