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Remaining Critical about Mental Health Matters in Pandemic Crises

Remaining Critical about Mental Health Matters in Pandemic Crises

Tue Nov 10, 2020
Remaining Critical about Mental Health Matters in Pandemic Crises

Time Tue Nov 10 2020 at 09:30 am to 05:30 pm

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Remaining Critical about Mental Health Matters in Pandemic Crises, 10 November | Online Event | AllEvents.in Remaining Critical about Mental Health Matters in Pandemic Crises
Remaining Critical about Mental Health Matters in Pandemic Crises - 12th Annual Critical Perspectives in Mental Health Conference

About this Event

SCHOOL OF APPLIED SOCIAL STUDIES AND SCHOOL OF NURSING AND MIDWIFERY

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK, IRELAND

IN ASSOCIATION WITH CRITICAL VOICES NETWORK IRELAND

AND SUPPORTED BY PCCS BOOKS ( https://www.pccs-books.co.uk/)



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We are pleased to announce that the 12th annual critical perspectives in mental health conference will be held online this year on 10 November 2020. Confirmed speakers to date are John Read, Rachel Waddingham and Bryan McElroy. Further details regarding format and speakers to follow in September.


There has been no shortage of mental health advice and guidance from statutory services, voluntary organisations, and ‘mental health experts’ since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. We have seen headlines such as ‘tsunami of mental illness’ and references to opportunities to move towards more digitalised mental health services.


The conference will critically consider the range of recent responses to mental health matters arising from the pandemic and will explore ways of developing networks of support and solidarity in these uncertain times.


Schedule for the Day:

09:30 - 09:45 Welcome to the Conference. Lydia Sapouna and Harry Gijbels

09:45 - 10:30 Keynote Presentation 1

Helping Psychiatry Wake Up to the Truth about Antidepressant Medic*tion Withdrawal by Dr John Read, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of East London.

10:30 - 10:35 PCCS: Presentation of Books relevant to the Conference. Catherine Jackson

10:35 - 11:00 Break

11:00 - 11:45 Keynote Presentation 2

Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19, a General Practitioner’s Perspective: Why do we do what we do, and how can it Change? by Dr Bryan McElroy, General Practitioner

11:45 -12:15 Break

12:15 - 13:00 Keynote Presentation 3

Drayton Park Women’s Crisis Service - A conversation with Andie and Shirley. Shirley McNicholas and Andie Rose, Drayton Park Women’s Crisis House, London.

13:00 -13:05 PCCS: presentation of books relevant to the conference. Catherine Jackson

13:05 -14:15 Break

14:15 -15:00 Keynote Presentation 4

(Dis)connected? Creating Spaces to be Together in a Maddening World. Rachel Waddingham, English National Hearing Voices Network & ISPS UK

15:00 -15:30 Break

15:30 -17:00 Panel Discussion

“Are we all in it together? Critical reflections on what mental health means during COVID-19”. Kerry Cuskelly, mental health social worker, Dublin; Rory Doody, Mental Health Engagement and Recovery lead, Health Service Executive (HSE) Cork and Kerry; Deirdre Lillis, advocacy co-ordinator, Social and Health Project (SHEP), Cork; Thom Stewart, co-founder of the Solidarity Cooperative An Áit Eile', Galway.

17:00 Plenary and closing remarks. Lydia Sapouna and Harry Gijbels

17:30 Conference Ends






Conference Organizers


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Lydia Sapouna

Lydia Sapouna is a Lecturer in the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland. Her teaching, research and community contributions are primarily in the area of critical mental health, education and practice. She is very interested in the politics of mental health and the role of social activism in changing power imbalances in mental health systems.


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Harry Gijbels


Harry Gijbels is a retired mental health nurse and academic with over 40 years of experience in challenging mental health practices and education. He continues to be actively engaged, for example through his work with the Hearing Voices Network Ireland. Harry’s work in activism is informed and influenced by issues of power, human rights and social justice in mental health.



Keynote Presentations



Keynote Presentation 1

Helping Psychiatry Wake Up to the Truth about Antidepressant Medic*tion Withdrawal. Dr John Read, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of East London.


John will address the international epidemic of overprescribing pf psychiatric drugs in general and antidepressants in particular, which is being exacerbated during the current C0VID-19 crisis. He will summarise recent research showing that national guidelines (e.g. National Institute of Clinical Excellence) and statements by professional bodies (e.g. the Royal College of Psychiatrists) have woefully underestimated the prevalence, duration and severity of withdrawal symptoms when coming off antidepressants. This has led to the misdiagnosis of withdrawal as a return of the original 'disorder'. He will relate recent successes in changing those guidelines and lobbying for withdrawal support services in the National Health Service.



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Dr John Read


Dr John Read is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London. He has published over 160 research papers, primarily on the relationship between adverse life events and psychosis. He also researches the negative effects of bio-genetic causal explanations on prejudice, the experiences of recipients of anti-psychotic and anti-depressant Medic*tion, electroconvulsive therapy, and the role of the pharmaceutical industry. John is Chair of the International Institute for Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal [ https://iipdw.org] , and on the Board of the Hearing Voices Network, England [ http://www.hearing-voices.org]. He has been the Editor of the scientific journal ‘Psychosis’ for 11 years and is the editor/author of several books, including: Read J, Dillon J (eds) (2013) ‘Models of Madness’, Routledge. Read J, Sanders P (2010). ‘A Straight-Talking Introduction to the Causes of Mental Health Problems’, PCCS Books.





Keynote Presentation 2

Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19, a General Practitioner’s Perspective: Why do we do what we do, and how can it Change? Dr Bryan McElroy, General Practitioner


The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a flare up of deep-seated anxiety and fear in the collective energy field of human beings throughout the world. GPs find themselves in the midst of this crisis, trying their best to respond to people presenting in various states of overwhelm and distress. What is actually happening on the frontline as people present with mental health challenges? Why do GPs do what they do? For example, why are prescription rates of antidepressants continuing to increase in Ireland and most of the world? Is this the most appropriate response? What alternative ways of conceptualising and responding to distress can GPs and mental health workers use? These are some of the question’s Dr McElroy will address in his presentation using stories from his own personal experience to illustrate these important issues.



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Dr Bryan McElroy


Dr Bryan McElroy works as a General Practitioner with a special interest in psychiatry and the spectrum of human psychological and emotional experiences. He qualified from UCC medical school in 2009 and obtained a Diploma in Clinical Psychiatry during his GP training which finished in 2015. He has been attending CVNI conferences since 2010 and has found them to be an invaluable source of inspiration and vitally important information. He also has training and experience in ‘the work’ of Byron Katie, the ‘three principles’ of Sydney Banks, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing) and the Alexander Technique. He is a contributor to “Inside Out- Outside In: Transforming Mental Health Practices’ published by PCCS Books in 2019. In his spare time, he enjoys dancing and spending quality time outdoors.

Website| www.bryanmcelroygp.com

Twitter| @bryanmcelroy8




Keynote Presentation 3

Drayton Park Women’s Crisis Service - A conversation with Andie and Shirley. Shirley McNicholas and Andie Rose, Drayton Park Women’s Crisis House, London.

Drayton Park Women’s Crisis House at 25 years - How we continue to develop and experience the Drayton Park Model whilst living in the COVID-19 times.



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Shirley McNicholas


Shirley McNicholas has worked within the NHS for over thirty-five years and founded Drayton Park Women’s Crisis House in 1995 in collaboration with women who use mental health services. She is a feminist and a campaigner for women only services and trauma informed approaches for all.


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Andie Rose


Andie Rose is a mental health campaigner and activist. She helps train staff on understanding how trauma affects our lives. She assists in writing policies, advocating for women only crisis houses and helping to improve services and systems. She has been using services for over two decades



Keynote Presentation 4

(Dis)connected? Creating Spaces to be Together in a Maddening World. Rachel Waddingham, English National Hearing Voices Network & ISPS UK


2020 has not been an easy year for so many of us … but then, nor has 2019, 2018 …. Come to think of it, the world has felt like it is on fire for a while now. Yet this year something has changed. It is as if a veil dropped and the cracks in our social care, health and political systems have been left bare for anyone to see. COVID-19 is not the great leveller some have claimed it to be. Yet, amongst these cracks I have also seen some beautiful acts of creativity, kindness and solidarity grow.


In this talk I will be exploring the impact of living in this world as a madwoman, mum, practitioner, and activist. I’ll chart some of the relationships between the bigger issues ‘out there’ and my own ‘mad experiences’ … voices, visions, beliefs and the ever-present pull towards isolation. I’ll reflect on some of the initiatives led by people in the survivor community that have inspired me and given me hope - hope enough to try and create some of my own spaces (as an individual, and through the English Hearing Voices Network). These spaces have the potential, I believe, to be tethers in an increasingly uncertain and worrying world.



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Rachel (Rai) Waddingham


I hear voices, see visions and have beliefs that can, at times, overwhelm me. Written off as ‘severely and enduringly mentally ill’ at the end of the last century, I had the good fortune to connect with the people and networks that gave me the hope, space and practical support to begin to heal from the things that were making me ‘crazy’. A belief in the power of support, and the wisdom generated through the sharing of lived experience, has been at the centre of my life and work since then.


Nowadays I am a mum, wife, sister, daughter, friend, ally and PhD student. I have helped to create groups and networks around the world that create spaces for people to talk about voices, visions and other ‘taboo’ experiences (in prisons, hospitals and the community). I have supported children and young people who struggle with voices and visions as well as conducted some research on their experiences of talking about their experiences. I’m an Open Dialogue practitioner, having worked in the NHS as part of the first team to implement a standalone Open Dialogue team that meets people and their networks in a crisis and works with them as long as is needed/wanted.


I write, speak out and do what I can to contribute to this growing movement of people who have a desire to fundamentally change how we respond to others in distress (and address the social inequalities, trauma and adversity that can make this world so crazy-making).

Behind the Label - www.behindthelabel.co.uk





Panel Discussion

“Are we all in it together? Critical reflections on what mental health means during COVID-19”. Kerry Cuskelly, mental health social worker, Dublin; Rory Doody, Mental Health Engagement and Recovery lead, Health Service Executive (HSE) Cork and Kerry; Deirdre Lillis, advocacy co-ordinator, Social and Health Project (SHEP), Cork; Thom Stewart, co-founder of the Solidarity Cooperative An Áit Eile', Galway.



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Kerry Cuskelly


Kerry Cuskelly is a social worker in mental health with previous experience in community development, medical, homelessness and disability settings. Kerry is associate editor for 'Voices from the Frontline', with the International peer-reviewed journal Critical and Radical Social Work. Kerry is part of the UCC Practice Links team. Kerry works from a critical and radical social work lens and as such is interested in how this can be translated into practice in mental health settings. Kerry is a strong proponent of peer-led approaches and the power that peer-groups can embody and has been involved in developing peer initiatives in a variety of settings.


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Rory Doody


Rory Doody, Area Lead Mental Health Engagement Cork and Kerry, service user, voice hearer, suffering from trying to be who he is, occasionally succeeding!



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Deirdre Lillis


Deirdre Lillis works with the Social and Health Project (SHEP). As the advocacy co-ordinator, she co-ordinates the delivery of advocacy courses and the development of independent advocacy facilitation in groups.



Thom Stewart


Thom Stewart graduated with a First from Trinity College Dublin, and a Masters in Psychoanalytic Theory. As a committed member of the cooperative movement, and of commons-based approaches to the production of relational goods, he served as a coordinator of the Exchange Dublin Collective Arts Centre, providing access to culture as a right. Thom was a founding member of the user-governed charity Cosáin CLG, offering peer-led mental health supports in Galway City. He is currently a director of the workers cooperative Hope and Homes, offering home maintenance supports to at-risk households, Co-Founder of the Solidarity Cooperative An Áit Eile, and Chair of the Irish Regenerative Land Trust. Thom's current work with AAE is in coordinating the user-led co-design of out-of-hours mental health services for Galway City, and with IRLT his objective is bringing the Community Land Trust model of permanently affordable housing and community asset governance to Ireland.



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Tue Nov 10, 2020
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Tue Nov 10 2020 at 09:30 am to 05:30 pm
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