Free talks explore aspects of mental health

Published: 30 April 2020 at 14:00

Online shopping with a credit card

ARU academics to share research on bullying and shopping addiction

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) will share their expertise with the community in two free online workshops being held to mark Mental Health Week in May.

On Wednesday, 20 May, from 7pm until 8pm, Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd will give a talk on compulsive buying disorder, and the mental health consequences of being addicted to consumption. She will also examine why the issue is not taken seriously, and how it could be treated. Dr Jansson-Boyd said:

“Shopping addiction is a difficult condition that is often not taken seriously but it should be, as it can have serious mental health consequences.  

“Maybe now more than ever, people should be aware of the dangers of shopping addiction as many people are confined to their homes. This means that people who are addicted can engage in excessive online shopping and it may be even less noticeable than before.”

The following evening, Thursday, 21 May, Dr Niamh O’Brien and Anna Dadswell will share findings of research they carried out with Red Balloon, a charity based in the East of England that provides support to young people self-excluding from school. During their research, they asked important questions about why people self-exclude, and the role bullying and school environments play. This talk will take place from 7.30pm until 8.30pm.

Dr O’Brien, Senior Research Fellow at ARU, said:

“Non-attendance is a hidden phenomenon in the UK but it can result in social isolation, poor educational development and subsequently fewer opportunities later in life.

“This talk will explain why, far from being a safe haven, school environments can exacerbate issues and lead to self-exclusion.”

Miriam Berg, Public Engagement Officer for ARU, said:

“Our academics have carried out fascinating research into two issues that have an impact across our society.

“Although COVID-19 means we cannot hold these talks in person, we are able to invite people to watch online, which will benefit people who would normally be unable to travel to our campuses.

“We are delighted to still be able to bring these talks to our communities.”

Both of the talks are free but must be booked in advance by visiting Once tickets have been booked, further information on how to access the talks will be provided.