EASO has set up and is launching a Working Group on Psychology, Behaviour and Mental Health. The objectives of this new group are:
- To inform policy and science in areas of psychology and mental health and promote and improve consistency of measurement of these in interventions.
- To engage the behavioural science and practitioner communities and to develop an interactive approach to share and disseminate best practice, innovation, and to act as a network to test and compare interventions.
- To work with people living with obesity (PLWO) to investigate psychological issues around the lived experience and articulate mental health needs across scientific and clinical communities.
- Develop appropriate education and training materials, including respectful patient communication for various HCP groups, and to expand opportunities for early career researchers and practitioners, based on the above.
- Provide capacity-building opportunities for established researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, to strength the skills of those working in the areas of mental health and psychology.
EASO President Jason Halford, himself a Professor of Psychology and now based at the University of Leeds, UK, will be part of this new working group. He says: “There is a bi-directional between relationship between obesity and poor mental health, particularly depression, which can begin in childhood. This poses significant barriers to effective weight management, but more so demands specialist provision in multidisciplinary services for people living with obesity. With Weight Management Services under-resourced, particularly in specialised psychological support, many People Living with Obesity seeking support will not have their critical mental health issues addressed’
Eugenia Romano, Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK will also be a member of the new group, and adds: “Given my PhD research and interest in mental health and obesity stigma along with my current work, I am enthusiastic about joining the new EASO Working Group on Psychology, Behaviour and Mental Health. Mental health issues pose major challenges for people living with obesity and working with this group provides a great chance to learn and make a difference.”
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