Archive for the ‘Mind Conferences’ Category

Challenging Discrimination Together – Open Up anti-discrimination conference

June 4, 2010

14 June 2010
Jury’s Inn, Birmingham

9.30 Registration
5:30 Close  

Mind’s Open Up project will be holding their anti-discrimination conference, Challenging Discrimination Together, in Birmingham this June, as part of their work within Time to Change.

The conference will provide a space for people with experience of mental distress to share their ideas for challenging discrimination and think of ways to take the anti-discrimination movement forward at grassroots level.

The day will feature lots of exciting and interactive content, including workshops, displays, performance, panel discussions, plus free cake and prizes!

Delegates will have the chance to:

  • Meet like-minded individuals who are passionate about speaking out against discrimination.
  • Hear from others who have run anti-discrimination projects and learn from their experiences.
  • Pick up practical skills to help you speak out against discrimination, for example filmmaking, basic web design, and how to fundraise.
  • Find out more about the work of Open Up, Mind and the Time to Change programme.

The conference is open to anyone with direct experience of mental distress interested in challenging mental health discrimination.

For a full run through of the day’s schedule, please click here.

We may not be able to offer a place to everyone who applies – but we welcome applications from people with direct experience of mental distress from all backgrounds and communities. We are particularly interested in hearing from groups who have experienced multiple discrimination.

Please note that this conference is only open to people with direct experience of mental distress. If you would like to apply for a travel bursary, please email us at :

Fees and registration

£75 – standard rate for people being funded by their organisation.
£40 – self-funded
FREE! – unwaged (£10 refundable deposit)

Full information about booking accomodation will be provided on registration.

Register online or email, or call us on               020 8215 2366         020 8215 2366 for a registration form.

Please note:  The Terms and Conditions stated in online registration are general to Mind conferences, and do not apply to this Open Up event. For up-to-date Terms and Conditions for the conference, please visit the Open Up website.


MIND Conference Report 22nd and 23rd November – Cardiff

April 4, 2006

John Griffiths AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, opened the conference by declaring that mental health services are not as developed as they could be. He stated that we have a long way to go to modernise mental health services in Wales. He mentioned the extra £5m which is going to be invested in mental health services in Wales. He advocated a holistic approach to mental health services in Wales and working in partnership

Lindsay Foyster, Director of MIND Cymru stated that it is a critical time for mental health in Wales. She highlighted that mental health services are deterioriating and not improving in Wales. Lindsay said it was now time to act. We are now five years down the line of the implementation of the National Service Framework (NSF). Users must be involved in mental health service planning, but this is not happening. We need to be pro-active to get change. She also declared that there is a postcode lottery in the provision of mental health services in Wales. The Assembly should put mental health as a top priority. She stated that we must stop talking and get on with it.

Anne Lloyd, Director of NHS and Social Care at the National Assembly focussed on recent initiatives to improve mental healthcare in Wales. She emphasised the importance of provision of integrated services. She said that there was an opportunity with the NSF to make things better. She stated she was not very happy at all with the level of attention paid to mental health services by Trusts. There will be questioning of Trusts as to what services are provided. Chief Executives will be asked to provide alternatives to institutional care. In regard to the £5m that has been allocated to mental health services, she said the Minister would not be happy if mental health services lose out on reallocation of money.

Lynne Roberts, a nurse consultant with North Glamorgan NHS Trust talked about the Tidal Model in the first workshop. This model is being recommended by the National Service Framework at the National Assembly. This approach promotes the inclusion of the service user fully in the planning of support, treatment and care within the in-patient setting. Lynne discussed a number of studies which indicated how ineffective hospital care is. The Tidal Model recommends a minimum of 15 minutes interaction with a qualified member of staff a day.  There should also be regular group work (three times a day was recommended).

Mark Boulter, a GP and the primary care representative on the Mental Health NSF Implementation Advisory group highlighted the National Institute of Clinical Excellence Guidelines for GPs. Apparently 80% of all mental health care is the responsibility of GPs. Only one third of GPs have any training in mental health care. GPs are the first point of contact for people with mental health problems. The NICE Depression guidelines in 2004 recommended screening for high-risk groups, watchful waiting, guided self-help and exercise, treatment with SSRI’s, combined treatment and referral.

Linda Dunion, talked about about “See Me”, Scotland’s anti-stigma campaign. She is campaign director of this project. “See Me” is a unique model of anti-stigma work. Led by the five mental health charities in Scotland with full funding from the Scottish Executive. The campaign aims at both national and local levels. Key target groups are the general public, the media, young people and workplaces. Evaluation to date suggests that “See Me” is beginning to improve public attitudes in Scotland.

Phil Chick covered the working of the National Public Health Service for Wales, which emerged with the abolition of the Health Authorities. Phil Chick is the Director of Mental Health for the National Assembly. He discussed the role of the National Public Health Service with statutory and other bodies involved with Mental Health. Its strategic aims are to promote health and well being, prevent and treat disease, reduce inequalities and improve equity. The National Assembly for Wales, the National Public Health Service and MIND Cymru are to work in partnership to reduce stigma for mental health service users by raising public awareness.

In the presentation, Creative Commissioning, Lynn Friedl made the case for social prescription. Lyn is the editor of the Journal of Public Mental Health. Social prescription is defined as non-medical responses to preventing, treating, and coping with mental health problems. Lynne documented a lot of evidence for the benefits of non-pharmacological treatments, both in addition to medication or sometimes the alternative. However, there are currently inequalities in access to options like physical activity, bibliotherapy, arts on prescription, computer assisted self-help and talking therapies.

The second workshop was on the DEEP (Development, Employment and Equality Project). This is a participatory action research project intended to explore real and perceived barriers to employment. Andrew Hubbard talked about his research on social identity.  He found that self-identity for disabled people is socially constructed through discrimination, assumption and prejudice. Teresa Lewis talked about her research on volunteering. The workshop highlighted the difference between equality and diversity. Diversity is characterised by an emphasis on individuals, self-identity and a recognition that different people are equally valid. Equality on the other hand is characterised by mainstream values where people are treated as equal and the same.

The last section of the conference was a discussion between Lindsay Foyster and Prof Richard Williams of the University of Glamorgan, who is the Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Heads the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales. He started by declaring that world and people of mental health care had changed. Imposing hierarchies no longer worked. The power of the voluntary and statutory network is very powerful. He stated that the NSF was too broad and too big. He recommended that a smaller group of objectives should be prioritised across Wales.

I found the conference extremely valuable to provide me with background information on mental health policy in Wales. I now understand a lot more about the National Service framework and things like the NICE guidelines. This knowledge is extremely useful to me in my role as member of shadow Pwyllgor. The speed networking session was also very valuable as you could talk for five minutes with speakers on the second day. The conference was also a good social occasion; the entertainment from Sweet Fontaine in the evening was very enjoyable.

Author: Dr Beverley Holbrooke