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Associate Head of Department for People and Culture Professor Catherine Harmer reflects on some of the progress made during the past year.

Members of the department holding up the letters spelling out PSYCHIATRY © Department of Psychiatry/Stuart Gillespie

This year the People and Culture Oversight Committee and working groups have organised activities and events for themed months of menopause awareness, LGBT+ history, race equality, student wellness, neurodiversity, flexible and family working, summer wellness, academic career development, Black history, men’s mental health, and reflection and gratitude. We hope that there has been something for everyone but if you have further ideas about key themes we would love to hear from you.

Professor Catherine Harmer

We have been working on our action plan this year which includes new initiatives from providing an anonymous suggestions form for Psychiatry culture ideas or concerns; the roving Head of Department scheme with our Head of Department Belinda attending individual group meetings across the year, the new PI (Principal Investigator) peer learning meetings, the launch of the quiet room and ‘lab handbooks’, a photography day to update our department imagery, and much more (see our noticeboard in the Common Room to see monthly updates). 

Thank you so much to everyone for completing the staff survey this year. The results are starting to come in and I think a testament to the wonderful community in the department, and Dr Erdem Pulcu will be sharing these with you.  There is much to celebrate in these results and some areas that we will focus on in the coming year.

Next year will include our Athena Swan Silver renewal application, led by Dr Laura Winchester, and so you will hear more about this in the coming months. This includes some new initiatives including a focus on fixed-term contracts, how we act on reports of bullying and harassment, and staff development. The staff survey and your comments across the year have been really vital in prioritising these activities and we are looking forward to these new developments. 


Professor Catherine Harmer is Associate Head of the Department of Psychiatry for People and Culture.


Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.