- 02 May 2018
- Posted in: Health & Social Care
The latest event in our series of Mental Health conferences was hugely successful. Delegates came from far and wide to hear an impressive line-up of speakers. Several speakers were either current or former users of mental health services which made for very insightful and valuable perspectives. Improving Mental Health: Integrating, Coordinating and Transforming Services received very positive feedback from delegates, sponsors and speakers alike.
The morning session began with the keynote address by Sean Duggan, Chief Executive at the Mental Health Network who’s inspiring talk included mental health funding, reviewing the Mental Health Act and transformation for the future. Lynne Miller of Head of Employment Services at CNWL (Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust) then focused in on real-life examples of her Trust’s work, while Angela Newton from Together for Mental Wellbeing stressed the importance of service-user led implementation. Closing the morning session, Jenny Schiller from event sponsor Ieso, spoke about the organisation’s technological work to improve its users’ mental health.
After a mid-morning break, the midday session commenced with an address from ChasingLights Collective founder Chevy Rough. His speech was a touching account of his own experience with mental health issues and addiction. He emphasised the importance of movement and exercise in improving mental health and wellbeing. Following this, Rough joined a panel discussion with Paul Jennings, National Programme Manager at High Intensity Network, Cllr Joanne Harding, Chair of Health Scrutiny Committee at Trafford Council and Polly Allen, Journalist and blogger at Mental Health Mates. As all members of the panel had experience of mental health issues and came from different fields of work, it made for a highly valuable discussion as delegates posed a range of insightful questions.
Following the lunch break, Rebecca Gleave, a Lead Nurse at event sponsor Elysium kicked off the afternoon session along with a service user. Once again, platforming service users proved to be highly appreciated by delegates. They promoted their conference taking place later this year with the theme ‘Moving Forward; Building Resilience and Overcoming Adversity’. Mike Catton, Director at Healios, another event sponsor, drew attention again to technology. Julie McCarthy, a Creative Producer at Greater Manchester charity 42nd Street then discussed the role of arts and culture in people’s mental health and wellbeing levels.
Closing the day were Hannah Fletcher, Youth & Project Officer at Healthwatch Essex and Rob Willoughby, Area Director at The Children’s Society who addressed service user-led approaches to mental health and the importance of early intervention respectively. Last but certainly not least, Brian Bridgewater from Health Innovation Manchester brilliantly chaired the conference, asking though-provoking questions and making insightful contributions throughout the day.