Mental Health Awareness Week: Fit for the future: How are Wellbeing Services empowering students and staff? With Kirsty Hutchinson

In this special episode to mark Mental Health Awareness Week we talk to Kirsty Hutchinson, Head of Welfare and Counselling Services at Newcastle University.

Learn about Kirsty’s role in student welfare, the struggles that students face in higher education and a new innovative Impact measurement Scale, which is changing the way we approach supporting students, not just at Newcastle but throughout the sector.

Find out more about Student Wellbeing at Newcastle University.

If you are a Newcastle University student and are looking for support or advice, you can find it at

Beyond the diagnosis: The role of exercise in cancer prevention and recovery with Dr Sam Orange

This episode is part of our mini-series, From Newcastle for Healthcare

In this episode we talk to Dr Sam Orange, Lecturer in Clinical Exercise Physiology at Newcastle University.

Discover how exercise can lower the risk of developing cancer and how Sam is working on the PURE-EX project to help support women after breast cancer.

Find out more about Sam’s research and follow him on twitter @SamOrange01.

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

Breast Cancer Now, PUREX Research project:

Contact Dr Sam Orange:

Smiles on Screen: Improving dental care for people with learning difficulties with Dr Susan Bissett and The Lawnmowers Theatre Company

This episode is part of our mini-series, From Newcastle for Healthcare

In this episode we talk to Dr Susan Bissett, Lecturer of Dentistry at Newcastle University and Claire Hills-Wilson, Artistic Director of The Lawnmowers Independent Theatre Company.

Learn about the collaboration between The Lawnmowers Independant Theatre Company and the Newcastle University School of Dental Sciences in creating a new film to help educate dental students on the process of treating patients with learning difficulties.   

Find out more about Susan’s research and follow her on twitter @SusiBiscuits.

Lawnmowers is a producing theatre-arts organisation, operating in Gateshead and surrounding regions and is run by and for people with learning difficulties.

Find out more about The Lawnmowers Theatre Company and follow them on twitter @LawnmowersITC and Facebook. The Lawnmowers also have a YouTube channel showing examples of their work.

From Campus to Community: Inside Newcastle’s Young@Heart Clinic with Dr Hamde Nazar

This episode is part of our mini-series, From Newcastle for Healthcare

In this episode, we talk to Dr Hamde Nazar, senior lecturer and director of education in the School of Pharmacy at Newcastle University.

Learn about the Young@Heart clinic, a student-run health clinic open to members of the public in Newcastle City Centre.

Find out more about Hamde’s work and follow her on twitter @NazarHamde.

Visit the Young@Heart clinic for your health check:

Grainger Market, Newcastle:

Newcastle GP Services (NGPS) Community Health Bus:

Newcastle University Staff and Students:

You can also find out more about the service in this video: Young@Heart Clinic | Newcastle University School of Pharmacy – YouTube

5.9 A breakthrough in diagnosing and treating Fatty Liver Disease with Professor Quentin Anstee

In this episode we talk to Quentin Anstee, Professor of experimental hepitology and Consultant Hepatologist at Newcastle University’s Translational and Clinical Research Institute.

Learn about how Quentin and his team have been working on an exciting project to develop new diagnostic tests for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition which is too often undiagnosed in patients. 

The papers mentioned in this episode are:

Paper 1 – Biomarkers for staging fibrosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (the LITMUS project): a comparative diagnostic accuracy study – The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Paper 2 – A proteo-transcriptomic map of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease signatures | Nature Metabolism

Information about the LITMUS Project is available at About LITMUS – LITMUS Project (

You can find out more about Quentin’s research and follow him on twitter @QAnstee.

Find #FromNewcastle podcast at and on twitter @FromNCLPodcast

World Mental Health Day Special: Supporting university staff and students: The five ways to wellbeing

In this World Mental Health Day special episode James talks to Kate Aitchison, Head of Student Health & Wellbeing, Dr Lucy Robinson, Reader in Clinical Psychology and Ollie Bell, Colleague Health and Wellbeing Lead.

World Mental Health Day takes place on 10 October every year and gives us a chance to talk about looking after our mental health and how important it is to talk about things and get help if you are struggling.

Our guests discuss the importance of mental health, the lasting impacts of the pandemic on both students and colleagues and the 5 ways to wellbeing, a simple and effective framework you can use to help take care of your mental health.

The 5 ways to wellbeing:

  • Connect
  • Be Active
  • Take Notice
  • Keep Learning
  • Give


Lucy recommends the book Atomic Habits by James Clear:

James recommends the twitter account Doomscrolling Reminder Bot:

Ollie recommends the Zombies, Run App:

Newcastle University Student Resources:

University Wellbeing Services:
NUSU Student Advice Centre:
The Nurture-U Wellbeing Survey:

Newcastle University Colleague and Postgraduate Resources:

Colleague Wellbeing Hub:

Employee Assistance Programme: 25th October, 10:00 – 11:30
Sleep and CBT Workshop: Sleep well, Live Better: Build an understanding of the evidence base behind sleep and learn how to have better sleep

3.7 Fuse: Health Inequalities in Pregnancy with Dr Nicola Heslehurst and Amy McNaughton

In this episode we talk to Dr Nicola Heslehurst, Senior Lecturer in Maternal Nutrition at Newcastle University and Fuse Co-lead for Early Life and Adolescence Programme, andAmy McNaughton Public Health Consultant at Public Health Wales.

Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health, is a partnership of public health researchers across the five universities in North East England. The centre works with policy makers and practice partners to improve health and wellbeing and tackle inequalities.

Discover how a Fuse collaboration between Newcastle University and Public Health Wales helped to determine how socioeconomic inequalities affect health in pregnancy.

More information about the project can be found on the fuse website and in BMJ Open. Discover how fuse can help  policy and practice partners and submit an enquiry at AskFuse.

Follow @fuse_online and @PublicHealthW on twitter for more information and updates.

With thanks to the wider team who worked on this research at:

Fuse / Newcastle University: Dr Katie Thomson: Dr Malcolm Moffat, Oluwatomi Arisa, Catherine Richmond, Dr Adefisayo Odeniyi, Professor Clare Bambra, Professor Judith Rankin, Professor Heather Brown.

Public Health Wales: Dr Amrita Jesurasa, Dr Julie Bishop, Susan Wing.

1.6 The age-old problem of discrimination

In this episode we talk to Tom Scharf, Professor of Social Gerontology at Newcastle University about the social aspects of ageing and the new Centre for Ageing and Inequalities at Newcastle University, of which Tom is co-director.

Tom is President of the British Society of Gerontology and is passionate about the issue of ageism. His work looks at social inclusion and exclusion in later life, with a focus on the spaces and places in which inclusion and exclusion arise.

Learn about the widespread misrepresentation of older people in the media, why we need a more aspirational view of ageing and later life, and the importance of solidarity between different generations.

To find out more, visit Newcastle University’s Centre for Ageing and Inequalities, follow Tom on twitter @TomScharfNcl and watch his INSIGHTS Virtual Lecture.

You can access the Centre for Ageing Better Image Library here.

1.2 The Geordie Cancer Drug

In this episode we talk to Professor Ruth Plummer, Clinical Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at Newcastle University about the ‘Geordie’ cancer drug Rubraca®, a ground-breaking ovarian cancer drug, developed here in Newcastle.

Based at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research, Ruth has been working in the field for 25 years and has made significant contributions to extending and enhancing the lives of those with cancer, including being part of the Newcastle team which developed Rubraca®.

Learn about Ruth’s ground-breaking career and how she and her colleagues have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to continue this vital research.

To find out more about Rubraca® visit the From Newcastle Blog and follow Ruth on twitter @plummer_ruth.