‘Critical perspectives on the lived experience of distress and mental health services’

14th Annual Critical Perspectives in Mental Health Conference

16th and 17th November 2022


Lived experience of distress and mental health services is increasingly identified as significant in shaping better understandings and responses to human suffering. Lived experience informs research, activism, service development, and, to a certain extent, policy, and education. However, concerns are also expressed that lived experience is not recognised as expert knowledge. This year’s conference provides opportunities to honour the contributions of lived experience to changing knowledge, attitudes, and practices in mental health and to address some of the challenges in recognising the value of lived experience. This conference will consider:


  • what do we understand by lived experience?
  • what do we know about the contribution of lived experience in mental health matters?
  • the diversity of lived experience
  • issues of credibility and representation
  • whose interests are served by and through lived experience?
  • how do we create environments to honour, and nurture lived experience?

 Call for Abstracts 

‘Critical perspectives on the lived experience of distress and mental health services’

Call for abstracts (oral presentations/workshops) of 45 minutes’ duration related to the conference theme and outlining its aims and intentions. Please submit (in Word- 250 words max) by 12 September 2022. Please also submit a brief bio (in Word – 150 words max). Email abstract and bio to l.sapouna@ucc.ie. Inquiries to h.gijbels@ucc.ie or l.sapouna@ucc.ie.  

Registration details will be circulated in September 2022.  

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

 (In alphabetical order)

  • Liz Brosnan, Survivor, Researcher and Activist, post Academia and Health Service Executive, Ireland.
  • Martha Griffin, Expert by Experience, Lecturer in Mental Health, Dublin City University, Ireland. 
  • Raza Griffiths, Survivor Educator, England.
  • Konstantina (Dina) Poursanidou, PhD, Service User Researcher, Survivor Researcher Network C.I.C and University of Central Lancashire, UK. 
  • Rai Waddingham, Survivor, Trainer, Researcher & Practitioner, UK

Conference Organisers

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

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