The campaign showcases the work of Project PERFECT (Pragmatic and Epistemic Role of Factually Erroneous Cognitions and Thoughts), and focuses on three members of the Project PERFECT team: Professor Lisa Bortolotti, Professor of Philosophy; Dr Ema Sullivan-Bissett, Research Fellow; and Dr Michael Larkin, Senior Research Tutor for Clinical Psychology and Senior Lecturer in Psychology.
The project explores how we can break down the stigma commonly associated with mental illness by promoting a better understanding of how the mind works.
The team are emphasising that thoughts that can be considered as irrational, such as delusional beliefs and distorted memories, are found in psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and dementia but are also commonplace in the wider community. Project PERFECT investigates how such thoughts have advantages as well as disadvantages. The advantages can begin to explain why such thoughts emerge and why they are so resistant to change. A better understanding of the situations in which we have irrational thoughts might help to challenge stigma and also inform the way people who are mentally distressed are treated and supported.
The Birmingham Heroes campaign features three further research themes: character matters; energy crisis; and silent killers.