Thanks to everybody who attended the conference on Friday in Mold. My impression was that it was a great success with a good balance of content and presentation styles over the course of the day.
Dr Ross Dunne’s presentation on the ethics of ECT was as entertaining as it was informative. His PowerPoint slides are available for downloading. I’ve sent out a survey link via the delegate list and agency leads – it would be really helpful for Ross if anybody that attended could complete the post-event survey. The article in the New Yorker he referred to regarding assisted suicide in Belgium makes for sobering reading and can be read here.
David Clegg’s presentation was as provocative as I’d hoped it would be, although it was never my intention to alienate the audience. David’s perspective is a unique one, given his grounding in the arts and the sheer amount of time he has spent listening to people with dementia and their families. It’s not easy as social workers to hear the raw responses of people who have had appalling experiences in their interactions with local authority social care services.
Some people raised an issue of balance – my personal view is that it is not the role of an artist to present a ‘balanced’ view of our profession (apologies to any nurse AMHPs who attended this event!) but I hoped that the day taken as a whole would present a more rounded picture.
The full length dramatisation of the ‘No Concerns’ case can be downloaded from SoundCloud via this link.
The reading from the Manuela Sykes transcript is also available to download.
Please do contact me directly via the website if you have any thoughts or suggestions regarding this or any of the other presentations – or any of our future events.
As for a balanced representation of social workers in the mental health setting, this was completely in evidence in the presentation from Dr Mark Wilberforce and Dr Michele Abendstern of their research into the contribution of social workers in community mental health services. What was most striking for me was how the other professionals valued the contribution made by social workers but the experience of social workers themselves was that their role became diluted through over-commitment. Given the current levels of stress and burnout in the field, it will be interesting to hear the longer term impact of integration and I hope that Michele and Mark are able to come back to us to present their future findings.
Mark and Michele’s presentation can be downloaded from the website.
At the end of the day it was a genuine delight to have Professor Rob Poole with us – a long-standing friend of AMHPA and someone who never fails to be thought-provoking and connect the most personal aspects of our work with a broad range of political, economic and social issues. I don’t think I’ve heard anybody bring Durkheim into a discussion of suicide since my undergraduate degree and that is a shame!
Rob is active on Twitter and can be found via @robgpoole.
Our next event will be at Brockholes in Preston on September 7th 2018 and after that will be Taking Stock in its usual venue at the RNCM on Friday 16th November 2018. (There is an Eventbrite page for paying delegates where you can see who is already booked).
Please do get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions, or if you would be interested in joining the volunteer AMHPs who run AMHPA and organise the events.