The University of Portsmouth’s Wellbeing Workshop took place on Tuesday 24th April. This Health and Wellbeing Theme event was open to all University of Portsmouth staff across all faculties and disciplines with an interest in Wellbeing. Professor Gordon Blunn and Dr Karen Pilkington hosted the event, with the aim of generating interest and identifying potential for future research projects that are interdisciplinary and cross-faculty.

Shape of the day summary

A series of talks took place delivered by experts in their fields:

Dr Wendy Sims-Schouten started with a presentation about the Mental Health in Childhood and Education (MICE) Hub and how the platform can enable the building of support and outreach. She gave examples of the collaboration that already exists across the University and sent the message that there are plenty of further opportunities available if there is interest. The MICE Hub have published an article about the Wellbeing Workshop on their site where you can find out more about what they do and the upcoming Mental Health Awareness Event taking place on Thursday 17th May.

Professor Tamsin Bradley presented an overview of the issues faced for the global wellbeing of women in particular and how this translates internationally in a variety of contexts. She discussed the implications of challenging social norms in countries such as Pakistan, India, Sudan and Africa and the challenges these present.

Dr Clare Wilson delivered a compelling presentation re-framing our approach and thinking about wellbeing and defining its separation from mental health. She was very clear that the current evidence suggests that overall wellbeing and mental health must be approached differently. One example being her research around self-management to support wellbeing but that this does not translate to improving mental health.

Dr Bethany Simmonds delivered a presentation about wellbeing in later life, specifically relating to the levels of physical activity. She presented current research which suggests that current policy and practice surrounding the advice given to the geriatric population with regards to the type and duration of physical activity and its role in the prevention of falls and fractures requires revision.

Leading on from this, Dr Daniel Brown presented his research relating to the links between wellbeing and performance of elite athletes and suggested possibilities of its translation in to other contexts to support physical wellbeing of the everyday person, as well as those with specific needs. He related this in context through the comparison of surviving and thriving and relayed the important message that success, as perceived by society, doesn’t always necessarily parallel with wellbeing.


Promising ideas for future research emerged through the breakout sessions which took place after the presentations. Ideas have been identified for follow-up by Professor Blunn and Dr Pilkington, who welcome all with an interest to come forward to discuss possible collaboration linking to the theme. If you were unable to attend the session but have an idea or research interest you would like to discuss relating to the theme of wellbeing, please contact either Professor Gordon Blunn or Dr Karen Pilkington, or Research and Innovation services by email:, or by phone: 02392 846191.