Having navigated to the website for this year’s NPNR conference I see a full (final?) schedule of presentations and discussions. The two day event takes place at Warwick University at the end of this very week, no less. It should be a good one, and if I can I’ll tweet some choice messages throughout. For those not in the know, here’s how the gathering is described by the organisers:
This international conference aims to examine the personal everyday experiences of living with mental health problems and delivering mental health nursing care and some of the political responses and implications of the events and forces that provide the context within which we live and work.
Mental health nurses regardless of setting are engaged in highly personal alliances with individuals with mental distress. In that light, we wish to hear about research that examines the therapeutic alliances, mental health nursing interventions and creative partnerships that form the focus of much mental health care.
But these personal and professional alliances can also be influenced by wider events that can shape and determine the culture of mental health nursing practice. National responses to global financial crises in the form of austerity measures, cutbacks in services and changes to roles within the workforce can dovetail with existing patterns of inequality, stigma and discrimination to the detriment of mental health service users and staff alike.
The personal and political can be seen to be played out too in the relationships between nurses and the people they seek to support and help through issues of involvement, partnership and collaboration – whether in practice, education or research.
This conference provides an opportunity for an informed and critical look at the therapeutic alliance and the therapeutic environment from the personal and political perspectives of service users, carers, mental health nurses and colleagues. Papers examining interactions and interventions in mental health settings and the wider community were welcomed and may include nurse/patient interactions dealing with resistance, challenge, compliance, containment, risk, sexuality and gender, employment and inequalities.
Successful papers will seek to measure mental health outcomes and critically examine the ways in which these findings work to advance the development of interventions better suited to the needs of individuals and society.