Student Mental Health: Responding to the Crisis
- 08:30 - 16:45
- The Royal National Hotel, London
Alastair Dobbin is a UK qualified family doctor and has worked in London, Australia and Edinburgh with a particular interest in mental health. He ran an NHS mental health clinic for 10 years from 1992, taking referrals from other GPs and using a variety of psychotherapeutic and hypnotherapeutic techniques to help patients, ego state therapy, NLP, coaching and psychotherapy. Together with Sheila Ross, he co-developed and researched a supervised self-help audio programme (Positive Mental Training, PosMT) from their experiences, based on an elite sports coaching mental training programme (as used in the Swedish Olympic team) which recognises the common factors of peak performance and recovery from emotional distress: visualisation and access to self-determining memory networks. The link to sport means it is very popular with staff for their own benefit as well as for their patients/clients. In 2016 this programme became an app the ‘Feeling Good: Positive Mindset’ app. In 2018 the app was accredited by the NHS apps library. Its main theatre of activity is in emotional recovery in primary care where it is used for all aspects of distress, depression, anxiety, rehabilitation. The app is accompanied by psychoeducational resources, webinars and online tutorials and it is increasingly used along with educational webinars to increase resilience recovery and wellbeing in Health and Social Care staff, since September 2020 delivered by us for the Scottish Government.
Alastair has co-designed and been involved in a number of research studies of the programme and other techniques with Imperial College (ego state therapy), Edinburgh University department of General Practice (Mental Training), Edinburgh University department of General Medicine (Irritable Bowel), Centre for the Economics of Mental and Physical Health, King’s College London (Mental Training), University of Cambridge Department of Public Health and Primary Care (stroke recovery), Department of Neurology Edinburgh University (Multiple Sclerosis) and McGill University/University of Quebec department of Psychology (RCT in resilience and memory structures). National Health Services Scotland (NHSS) ran a pilot study looking at the effect of the programme on burnout and wellbeing in NHS Staff.