Students design workshops to raise awareness

31 May, 2016 / infocus

Students from the University of Dundee School of Dentistry have had their work with socially-excluded groups recognised by a panel of expert judges.

The fourth-year students designed workshops to raise awareness of dental health and oral hygiene among marginalised groups such as people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, those experiencing homelessness and the elderly.

The workshops were an important step towards the goal of the overall project to identify and address the barriers preventing people from maintaining good oral health.

The winning group worked together with The Willow Centre, a drop-in service set up by the Dundee Association for Mental Health, to identify dental anxiety as the biggest factor preventing good oral health among the service users. They then designed a series of five workshops to educate service users on the importance of proper dental health and instil a sense of confidence and comfort with dental care over time.

Michael Young, a member of the winning group, said: “Being able to spend time at the Willow Centre talking to the service users was a rewarding and insightful opportunity. It was a privilege to visit the centre and our whole group learned so much as a result.”

Dr. Sucharita Nanjappa, lecturer in Dental Public Health, said: “The Dental Public Health Programme provides a platform for students to not only apply their knowledge but also to interact with those experiencing complex needs, thus increasing the students’ awareness of health inequality in the Tayside area.”

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