A trio of Teesside University Psychology students are set to present their research in Parliament in front of MPs and policy makers.
The students are representing Teesside in Posters in Parliament, a national exhibition of undergraduate research posters.
They will join students from across the country for the prestigious Westminster event on Tuesday 14 March.
Hannah Erdem, 26 and Pippa Adams, 21, worked with local Healthwatches in Teesside, through the University’s prestigious Students as Researchers scheme, to investigate patients’ experiences of accessing mental health facilities through questionnaires, focus groups and in-depth analysis.
Their research concluded that, although campaigns have improved awareness of mental health conditions and symptoms, much more needs to be done to reduce mental health stigma. It also found significant waiting times had implications for those seeking mental health support.
Aroosa Saijad, 20, a third year BSc (Hons) Psychology student, examined effective persuasion and how it shapes attitudes towards products and purchasing behaviour in terms of belief, intention and motivation.
She said: “It has been a really interesting project and a great opportunity to put what we are learning about into practice on a real life research project
“I did not expect to be presenting my work in Parliament, but am really looking forward to it and it is a great chance to showcase some of the work students are doing here at Teesside University.”
Hannah, who is in the second year of her BSc (Hons) Psychology, added: “We have been able to apply the skills and knowledge we have learnt during the degree to these research projects and it has been extremely beneficial both academically and personally.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Teesside University and to be able to present my work in Parliament is amazing.”
Pippa, who is studying MSc Health Psychology and Clinical Skills, said: “I am really looking forward to the event but hope we can do the work justice. We have all worked extremely hard and are delighted to be chosen to present our research in such a prestigious setting.”
Posters in Parliament will be attended by 25 universities across the country, as well as MPs and peers. The event is sponsored by Sir Keir Starmer, QC, MP and Chuka Umunna, MP.
Professor Mark Simpson, Teesside University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching), said: “The participation of Teesside University students in Posters in Parliament demonstrates our commitment to creating a learning culture where research is integrated into inspirational teaching to deliver real-world impact. I am delighted that Pippa, Hannah and Aroosa will have the opportunity to present their research to policymakers in Westminster.”
Jill Edemenson, from Healthwatch, added: “The students have been fantastic and we are really grateful for all their hard work and dedication. It has been a pleasure to work alongside them and help raise awareness of such an important issue.”