ESE Mental Health Awareness Team
The ESE Mental Health Awareness Team members' main area of responsibility is indicated next to their names- but please feel free to contact any of the team.
You can also find a list of of the the Department's mental health first aiders here.
Amanda Allotey (Area of responsibility: PhD students)
I am currently the Postgraduate Research administrator in Earth Science and Engineering. I assist in all areas of PhD Research and support students from the start to the completion of their PhD.
I know with any form of study that difficulties can arise and it’s not always easy to balance work and a personal life. One of the reasons I become a mental health contact is to let students know that you are not alone and that there are resources available to assist and help with any issues or problems that may occur during study.
Rebecca Bell (Area of responsibility: PhD Students)
I am a Senior Lecturer in the Earth Science and Engineering department and have joined the MHAT with a focus on helping PhD students. Ever since I did my PhD I have been interested in lots of different Earth Science topics and enjoy working with a wide range of people; but, I am also very bad at saying no to new opportunities. This means I often get myself into situations where I try to do too much and in the past this has led to stress and anxiety, which has manifest as physical health problems (headaches, rashes, optical migraines- I once went completely blind in my office for 30 mins!). After the optical migraine episode I have made a concerted effort to consider my mental health more in my day to day life. I enjoy reading about the latest research in well-being and I find that being knowledgeable about how the wonderful, but complicated brain works, can help you appreciate and nurture your mental health and stop you bullying yourself when problems do arise!
Peter Fitch (Area of responsibility: Msc students)
I'm a Senior Teaching Fellow supporting MSc students in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering. Part of my role involves acting as a personal tutor for the students; providing a contact point for individual pastoral and development needs, alongside my teaching responsibilities. Although my career has focussed on geology and petroleum engineering, my initial path ventured into nursing with a particular interest in mental health, although I did not follow this to completion I often find some of these skills and ideas come back to be useful in supporting and understanding myself, colleagues and friends. Throughout my life I have experienced and witnessed varying elements of mental health; including work-life stresses and balance, "imposter syndrome", and more serious issues. Realising that you are not alone is an important first step, along with finding a friendly face to approach when exploring opportunities for support and guidance. I find getting outside for a walk, either through the streets or countryside, is a useful way to relax and unwind, along with a coffee/cake break with friends during the working day! I have recently begun exploring meditation and mindfulness to allow myself to come back to, or remain in, the present moment and comfortable within myself.
Cédric M. John (Area of responsibility: ESE Mental Health Champion, Chair of the ESE MHAT, Members of staff)
I am a reader in carbonate systems, and have been in the department since 2008. I also have the privilege to be the first chair of the ESE mental health awareness team, and the “Mental Health Champion” for the department. My interest in mental health stems from personal hardship and my experience of leading a research group. Most of us encounter difficult times at some point in our life, and I believe these, when overcome, can help us grow as individuals. The mental toll can be heavy though, especially in a competitive, high-demand environment. Having appropriate support is thus essential to overcome difficulties, and I believe that the work we are doing in the ESE mental health awareness team provides support to other members of ESE and helps create a better, less stressful work environment. My work has led me in all four corners of the world, and I appreciate the challenge and benefits of working in a multicultural environment. I am also fascinated by the link between mental well-being, happiness, and productivity at work, and group dynamics, or how to ensure people work together in harmony.
Emma Passmore (Area of responsibility: Undegraduate students)
I am a Senior Teaching Fellow and the undergraduate Senior Tutor for ESE, which means I oversee the pastoral care of all undergraduate students. I am also particularly interested in mental health issues that can affect students in the course of their studies.
Gareth Roberts (Area of responsibility: Members of staff)
I am a lecturer interested in computational methods applied to inverting draining history of continental-scale regions. I am a lecturer interested in understanding how mantle convection is expressed at the Earth’s surface, how drainage systems evolve and its implications for sedimentary systems. My area of responsibilities within this group is members of staff, especially Postdoctoral scholars. I am the ESE Postdoc Champion providing support and representation at a departmental and college level.
I am currently a Research Associate and PhD student within the department of Earth Science and Engineering. I have always been interested in mental health and well-being, and have personal experience with anxiety, depression and recovery. It can be hard to recognize when we are unwell, but when we do, there is a lot of support available to help us work through it. As a parent of two young children, I am also aware of the challenges of having a good family/work balance, and the stress that parents encounter both at home and in the workplace. I look forward to supporting fellow members of ESE as a member of the mental health and well-being team.