CREATING SAFE SPACES IN MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES

13th Annual Critical Perspectives in Mental Health Conference

10th & 11th November 2021

First Conference Announcement and Call for Abstracts 2021  

“Creating Safe Spaces in Mental Health Systems: Critical Perspectives”

FIRST CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

“CREATING SAFE SPACES IN MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES”

10 AND 11 NOVEMBER 2021

 

SCHOOL OF APPLIED SOCIAL STUDIES AND SCHOOL OF NURSING AND MIDWIFERY

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE CORK, IRELAND

IN ASSOCIATION WITH CRITICAL VOICES NETWORK IRELAND

 

The experience of the Covid-19 pandemic is relevant to this year’s conference theme with issues of safety featuring in all our lives in different ways. Within this context, it is important to remain critical and not to lose sight of concerns that continue to be expressed about mental health systems not providing safe spaces for people in intense distress. Indeed, it is often the opposite, with people referring to experiences of de-humanisation, coercion and re-traumatisation. Acknowledging such concerns, this conference, now in its 13th year, focuses on the importance of developing and providing safe spaces for people experiencing distress. The conference offers opportunities to examine:

  • what we understand by safe spaces in mental health systems
  • what makes it so difficult to offer safe spaces
  • the increasing use of coercion and forced treatment to try and maintain people’s ‘safety’
  • what safe spaces may look like and how these may be experienced by people in distress
  • ways to support people in intense distress in spaces where they feel safe and respected

 

Conference format: We will hopefully have an in-person conference in Cork again this year. We will however also offer an online element to the conference where all delegates will have access to the keynote presentations and to a number of online concurrent sessions. More details to follow.

Call for abstracts: Full details for abstract submission can be found here

 

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Eoin Gorman is a lecturer in Occupational Therapy, UCC. He has experience of both using and working in the mental health services in Ireland. Eoin’s teaching focuses on psycho-social issues, including mental health and Madness. Eoin is a PhD student, exploring the lived experiences of people who identify as transgender in Ireland. Bryan McElroy is a practicing GP, currently based in Somerset, UK. He qualified from UCC medical school in 2009 and has been a regular attendee and workshop facilitator at the CVNI conferences over the past 10 years. He endeavours to bring about change in General Practice and is a contributing author to ‘Inside Out – Outside In: Transforming Mental Health Practices’.

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.

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.

Martijn Kole is one of the founders of Enik Recovery College and a peer leader in the Netherlands. Enik is a peer run, community-based, self-help environment in the Netherlands, based on the values of hope, empowerment, and peer support. It supports participants, who want to develop and facilitate self-help, by developing their peer support skills.

Above all, Enik creates (maximum) space for all who are looking for meaning, empowerment and agency while facing mental health challenges or addiction.   

The Home Focus Team was set up 2006 in co-operation between National Learning Network the West Cork Mental Health Services, providing a recovery orientated service to assist and support individuals, experiencing mental health difficulties, to develop skills to enhance, improve and maintain their own mental health, wellbeing and connectedness within their own community.

Ole Andreas Underland is Founder and CEO of the Recovery Academy. In 2015, he established Hurdalsjøen Recoverysenter, Europe’s first drug free psychiatric hospital, delivering on the strong urge from user and survivor organizations.

Siv Helen Rydheim is a writer, survivor and activist. Siv is one of the Joint action members who lobbied for medication-free treatment and now works at the Recovery Academy.

The Conference organisers are Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies and Harry Gijbels (retired), Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland.  

Get in Touch.

We welcome comments and contributions from people interested in the work of the CVNI and in enhancing and further developing this website. Please contact us using the form below.

12 + 11 =