This week in Wales there was an international conference sponsored by the International Mental Health Collaboration Network (IMHCN) and the International Centre for Recovery Action in Practice, Education and Research (ICRA). It took place at the National Botanical Gardens in south west Wales on 20 and 21 June.
It was a crowded agenda with a lot of ground to cover, from local practices in Wales through to presentations from Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Ireland, Malaysia, Brazil and most harrowing from Serbia with images of mental hospital inmates being tied down with sheets last year. Some good practice was found in parts of England, notably in Plymouth.
There is too much detail from such a conference to cover in a blog post. Perhaps my key observation is that, at last, the various professional bodies are beginning to try and come to terms with the idea of recovery, an idea which has come from people who have experienced mental suffering. The danger now, as discussed at the conference, was that the mental health professions will try and systematise recovery and in doing so will suck the life forces out of it, killing the bits that work.
Interestingly, a common theme from around the world was how powerful it was when employment was included in a recovery journey.
There is a new LinkedIn group for IMHCN for those interested in joining.
The link below is a 20 page brochure with the conference agenda and speakers details.