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SASHLab Good News!

SASHLab members met up with collaborators from NUI Galway, Mary Immaculate College and Shaanxi Normal University, China to discuss stress reactivity, ongoing projects and to develop further collaborations. As part of this event, a group of PhD students gave presentations on their thesis research starting with new SASHLab member Grace McMahon, UL, Siobhán Griffin (MIC), SASHLab member Eoin Brown (UL), Amanda Sesker (NUI Galway), and last but not least Páraic Ó Súilleabháin (NUI Galway). Topics included emotion regulation, personality, loneliness and attachment and how these factors can influence elements of our physiological responses to stress.

SASHLab would like to thank Dr. Siobhán Howard for coordinating the event and we are all excited to meet up with everyone again in November. We also want to extend our congratulations to the final PhD speaker, Páraic, and his supervisory team Dr. Howard and Prof. Brian Hughes. Páraic recently successfully defended his thesis at his viva voce exam in Galway. Congratulations, Páraic!

In other news, our own SASHLab member and recently promoted Senior Lecturer Dr. Stephen Gallagher attended a seminar organised by REACT, Reconciling Employment and Eldercare Together.

This series of talks are focusing on the challenges for carers and how best informal and formal caregivers should be supported. The REACT seminar provides an ideal setting for organisational decision-makers, interest groups, researchers and policy-makers to learn more about the challenges facing carers and how organisations and policy are meeting these challenges.

Some of the other speakers that gave talks were; Senator Alice Mary Higgins, Seanad Éireann and Marie Connolly, HR Manager, University of Limerick. The seminar was on in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick, October 21st, 9am-1pm.

Another active member of SASHLab, Brenda O’Connell, recently was asked to give a talk for UL’s First Seven Weeks program. The First Seven Weeks program in UL is designed to provide strong, enhanced and targeted support to students during the very early weeks of their time as UL students. F7W provide a range of information, resources and interact with new students so they know that F7W have their best interests in mind. Each of the first seven weeks has its own theme, designed to focus students’ attention on various issues that are important for settling in and thriving as a higher education student.

Brenda gave a talk during week 4, Mental Health Week, on positive psychological perspectives on ‘How to Be Happy’. Drawing on empirical findings Brenda discussed the habits of ‘happy’ people or people who have good mental well-being and how these habits can be cultivated in people’s own lives. Some examples that Brenda gave were to; connect with others, practice kindness, have a grateful attitude, and to focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses. Brenda successfully defended her thesis at her viva voce exam earlier this week. Congratulations, Brenda!

The Youth Mental Health conference was held in Cork this year where SASHLab member Brenda O’ Connell presented research in collaboration with iTeach Lab director Dr. Jennifer McMahon from the UL School of Education This research titled “Responding to the Mental Health Needs of Irish Youths: The Role of Pre-Service Teacher Training” was a finalist for the Eadbhard O’Callaghan Research Prize. The event was in collaboration with the iTeach organisation and EHS research.

Last but not least, a new SASHLab member has recently joined the group! Nicola Kemmerling from Germany is working on research ranging from cardiovascular reactivity, stress and health, to attachment and emotion behaviours. She is a final year student working in a research placement for one semester. We hope she settles in well and enjoys her work with Dr. Stephen Gallagher for the next few months!

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