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Charlotte Burden – Research Assistant

Through my personal interest and degrees in neuroscience and psychology, I have been able to explore the human brain in depth, including how our brains work and what happens to them when we experience neurological and psychological illness. Due to the increasing number of people affected by dementia, researching and understanding dementias first became an interest of mine whilst studying and subsequently lead me to work directly with people with dementia in clinical settings alongside my studies.

Through a combination of these studies and personal experiences, it is my belief that treatment of long-term health conditions should involve more than just the physical treatment of the condition. In my view, alongside physical treatment or management, good treatment of long-term conditions should also aim to support the patient in living the life they want to lead, unhindered by their illness as much as possible. 

On this basis, when I came across the DETERMIND project, it’s resounding aims to identify the inequalities in dementia care so services may be improved for all resonated with me greatly and I knew it was something I wanted to get involved with. In March 2022 I was fortunate enough to join the Sussex DETERMIND team and since then have been enjoying working with the fantastic team here in Sussex. I have had the pleasure of meeting many of our new and existing participants across Sussex, Surrey and Kent and would personally like to thank all those taking part in our research for sharing your stories and personal experiences with me – it has been a great privilege for which I am truly grateful. In the coming months I hope to meet many more new faces and equally look forward to catching up with our current participants this time next year!

Looking to the future, I hope to use my experiences of working on the DETERMIND project to develop my research skillset and gain greater experience of working with people experiencing mental difficulties. These invaluable experiences will enable me to apply for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate program which, upon completion, will hopefully enable me to work with patients and also in research so that we may continually aim to improve our understanding, care and treatment of mental disorders.