In September, in line with key Government objectives on social inclusion, recovery and psychological interventions, the National THORN Steering Group (TSG) presented a conference called Implementing PSI – Challenges and Developments. This conference aimed to look at how PSI is being implemented nationally.
More than 200 PSI enthusiasts, including a delegation from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, joined service users and carers at the University of Greenwich, Maritime Campus.
The keynote speakers for the conference included Alison Brabban, Neil Brimblecombe, Christine Barrowclough and other prominent figures in the field. There was strong representation from service users and carers: Georgina Wakefield, a carer and a prolific writer, read her poems which captured a mother’s experience in caring for a young man with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Gerry Bennison, a service user on the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMHE) PSI subgroup, gave a speech that invited a standing ovation.
Photo above: Delegates from BHCT (from left to right): Trevor Lowe, Nigel Wellman (Chair of TSG), Nicki Moone, Jacqueline Sin, Vicki Livingstone, Jackie Newell, Sue Stevens, Paul Goldsmith. Steve Reynolds took the picture.
There were also sessional workshops throughout the two days exploring PSI implementation in a wide range of care settings, including assertive outreach service, acute in-patient service, PSI education and training in HEIs, and in workplaces. All workshops were led by national enthusiasts in the field.
Jacqueline Sin and Nicki Moone from Reading joined forces with internationally-acclaimed Catherine Gamble to facilitate a workshop. Jacqueline and Nicki presented our Berkshire PSI experiences and success to tell a tale of local implementation.
Social events at the conference were also remarkable. The delegates were entertained with a cocktail reception on board the Cutty Sark before being dined and wined in the equally famous Trafalgar Pub overlooking the Thames. Not to mention all the magnificent historical buildings on the Maritime campus, contrasting with the modern high-rise towers opposite in Canary Wharf …what a successful conference!