For those not at the 20th International Network for Psychiatric Research Conference, which took place yesterday and the day before at Warwick University, here are links to the conference brochure and the book of abstracts. Following this link takes you to Laura Benfield’s aggregation of #NPNR2014-tagged tweets. Laura, I hear, is moving on from the RCN Events team: many thanks to her for all the behind-the-scenes work at this, and previous, conferences.
This was another high-quality NPNR gathering. Brendan McCormack gave an impassioned keynote on person-centred care, emphasising the absolute importance of values and culture, and Julie Repper spoke eloquently on co-production and the vital work that mental health nurses can do to promote this. Debbie Hicks talked of the work of The Reading Agency in using books to promote mental health and wellbeing. In his Friday morning keynote Swaran Singh gave a presentation which had, at its heart, the idea that higher recorded rates of mental illness in migrant groups are better explained by experiences of social adversity than they are by institutionalised racism. Kevin Ann Huckshorn delivered a final keynote centring on leadership and the implementation of recovery and coercion-reducing approaches.
I also sat in on, and chaired, some excellent concurrent sessions. From speaking with fellow delegates I know that I missed plenty of others of equal quality. From Fiona Nolan and colleagues I learned of the latest in the development and evaluation of protected engagement time initiatives, and from Hilary Ford of the use of a lifecourse approach in pre-registration mental health nurse education. I always appreciate what Mick McKeown has to say, and this year heard Fiona Jones and him talking about the opportunities (and challenges) of introducing recovery ideas in a secure hospital. I heard Brenda Happell deliver two papers: on the relationships between clinical experiences in mental health settings and nursing students’ attitudes to mental health as a field of practice, and on the introduction and evaluation of a service user-led module. Iain Hepworth and Peter Martin both gave talks touching on the work of liaison mental health nurses, and Alan Finnegan presented findings from a grounded theory study of military mental health nurses. Hilary Wareing shared experiences in introducing smoke-free mental health services, Hannah Walsh and colleagues talked of education and training for clinical support workers, and last (but certainly not least) Len Bowers shared his thoughts on (and experiences of) online suicide prevention education for mental health nurses.
I was also mightily pleased to have had the chance to be involved in four papers, each arising from funded research ongoing or recently completed and drawing on the talents and experiences of the fine people variously associated with COCAPP, Plan4Recovery and RiSC. We were there in force in Warwick: Alan Simpson, Michael Coffey, Sally Barlow, Jitka Všetečková, Bethan Edwards, Alan Meudell, Julian Hunt, Nicola Evans and Steven Pryjmachuk. Many thanks to those who came along to listen to, and discuss, our project experiences and our findings.
The NPNR conference is also the place where the following year’s JPMHN Lifetime Achievement Award winner and Skellern lecturer are announced. Very big congratulations to Ian Norman (who, as it happens, was one of my PhD examiners) and to Marion Janner, both of whom will be delivering their addresses at Nottingham University on June 11th 2015.
It’s worth mentioning, too, that the annual NPNR conference has a deserved reputation for informal collegiality and friendliness, and this year was no exception. I enjoyed meeting up with friends old and new.
Looking ahead, I see that an early call for suggested themes for NPNR 2015 has already gone out:
I, for one, plan to be there.