International mental health experts meet in the North West to tackle challenges of austerity
Mental health experts have been meeting in the North West to look at how mental health services can work in different ways to tackle the challenges of austerity, by drawing on experiences of pioneering recovery services from around the world.
The Think Tank event was hosted by AFG at its head office in Merseyside and facilitated by The International Health Collaboration Network (IMHCN).
The conference was organised by Mike Smith, AFG’s Clinical Director who was recently elected Vice Chair of the IMHCN, which is a formal network of partner organisations and individuals from across the world who are committed to the twin goals of deinstitutionalisation of psychiatric services and replacing them with a community based approach to mental health.
Speaking at the event he said: “Budgets for mental health services have, like many other things, been squeezed and it’s necessary to look at how we can continue to deliver quality care for some of the most vulnerable people in society.
“It’s useful to hear how colleagues across the world are coping with cuts and share their experiences. It’s vital that mental health providers work together to develop a shared learning set for communities.”
Earlier this year, AFG linked up with Mobee, a Gambian charity, and has been sending groups of support workers to Africa to share their experiences and learn new skills.
Salifu Manneh, Director, of Mobee said: “This innovative approach to staff development is already delivering real benefits for people here and in Gambia.
“I think the mental health professionals who’ve visited Gambia as part of this partnership are shocked by the lack of resources available to us. Despite this, they have still been able to get involved and help people who need specialist support.
“Sharing knowledge is vital if we are to continue finding new ways and techniques to help people suffering with mental problems across the world.”
- Changing the Thinking: Whole Person, Whole Life, Whole Systems: The IMHCN Approach
Presented by: John Jenkins, Chair, IMHCN
- Learning and Connecting at the International School in Trieste
Presented by: Lear Rothwell, Service Director – Mental Health, AFG
- England: Implementing a Whole Life and Recovery Strategy in Hertfordshire
Presented by: Alison Ryan, Director of Recovery, Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Gambia: The opportunities for community mental health in developing countries: The experience of Gambia
Presented by: Mike Smith, Clinical Director, AFG and Salifu Manneh, Director, Mobee Gambia
- Denmark: Placing the person at the centre of the service – the experience of Lyngby
Presented by: Jorn Eriksen, Lyngby Muncipality, Denmark
- England: Determining your own needs, choosing your own support: Personal Health Budgets
Presented by: Carey Bamber, Community Service Director, AFG
- England: Alternative to Hospitals: Hospital lessons learnt
Presented by: Mike Smith, Clinical Director, AFG
- Wales: Self – determination and self-management
Presented by: Terry Davies, Consultant, West Wales Action for Mental Health and Lecturer, Swansea University
- Why we need to offer wiser care for personality disorder – from structured community care to alternative to admissions
Presented by: Dr Mark Sampson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Lead Clinician in Personality Disorder, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- The Plymouth Whole Life – Whole Systems Strategy
Presented by: Dave McAuley, Sharon Claridge and Nick Pennell, Plymouth Mental Health Network
Catch up on the conference action on our Twitter page @AFGSupport using the hashtag #ThinkTank2014.