Spaces of Mental Health

06 November 2019

What makes a healthy space? Where do we feel the most well? How do our surroundings influence the ways we live, think, and feel? 

These are some of the questions that will be discussed during Spaces of Mental Health, an Aberystwyth University event that forms part of the Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Sciences in the Old College on Saturday 9 November. 

Speakers from a range of academic departments will shine a light upon the changing landscapes of mental health, sharing insights from research regarding four spaces of mental health and wellbeing: the mental hospital, the crisis house, the woodland, and the home.

PhD students Alexandra Hird, Eleri Phillips, and Kittie Belltree will discuss their research about spaces of mental health from the diverse disciplines of international politics, human geography and creative writing.

And Dr Elizabeth Gagen, Senior Lecturer from the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, will discuss the challenges of representing the life and legacy of a mental hospital.

The event will also include performances from MaDCaff, a Disability Arts Cymru project that organises pop-up cafes and open mic events to help people affected by mental illness to showcase their musical talents and support others to do the same.

Geography and Earth Sciences PhD student Eleri Phillips explains: “This day of talks, workshops and performances will explore how mental health and wellbeing relates to the places and spaces around us.  The event will bring together researchers and performers to discuss diverse spaces of mental health.  Attendees will be invited to contribute to creative activities as we reflect upon the themes of wellness, institutions, nature, domesticity, and recovery in our goal of creating a lasting legacy of this event.”

Refreshments at the event are being donated by Aber Food Surplus, a pioneering not-for-profit social enterprise focused on reducing food waste in Aberystwyth.

Spaces of Mental Health takes place from 10am-2pm on Saturday 9 November 2019 in the Old Hall, Old College, Aberystwyth. The event is open to all. 

Registration for the event is available at:

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Sciences is designed to promote and increase awareness of social science and ESRC-funded research, enable social scientists to engage with non-academics and increase awareness of the contributions the social sciences make to the wellbeing and the economy of UK society.