Professor Tom Scharf – Mental Health Awareness Week

Professor Tom Scharf – Mental Health Awareness Week


My name’s Tom Scharf from the Institute of
Health and Society at Newcastle University. I’m here as the Professor of Social Gerontology,
which means that I focus on ageing populations and the types of social issues that old people
face as they progress through the life course. My own interests are around issues related
to inequalities in later life, so people who are advantaged or disadvantaged as they progress
across the life course and how this then translates into whether people are advantaged or disadvantaged
as they get into the second half of the life course. One of the key issues in the work
that I focus on is issues around peoples social relationships so there’s a lot of evidence
now which is saying that people’s personal social relationships with family, with friends,
with neighbours, with work colleagues. These relationships are incredibly important in
terms of peoples physical health and also their mental health and that’s why a focus
on isolation and loneliness during National Mental Health Week is really important. The
more that we can invest in people’s positive social relationships, the greater the likelihood
that people will not be as unwell but they’ll have better health, they’ll have better mental
health and that actually they’ll end up living longer. So, the research evidence points to
the close connection between people’s social relationships and their health situation and
also their mental health, their cognitive health. So the more we can do to invest in
good quality social relationships at all stages of the life course, the better.

Comments

(0 Comments)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *