Over 300 mental health colleagues joined guest speakers including author Alastair Campbell, Prof of Psychiatry and Population Health Nav Kapur, National Director for Learning Disability and Autism, NHSE/I Ray James CBE and National Director for Mental Health, NHSE/I Claire Murdoch CBE in attending the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership’s virtual mental health and learning disabilities annual conference last month.
The Partnership’s second annual international conference, entitled ‘Stepping Stones to Success: Building Resilience during a Pandemic’ discussed the impact of Covid-19 on the mental health of patients and was successfully delivered virtually to an audience from across the globe, with significant engagement from delegates through interactive question and answer sessions.
Delegates were updated on the excellent work taking place across the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Collaborative Programme, including an update on the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the population and the Programme’s response to Covid-19.
The successes of the Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Collaborative Programme’s work streams were also profiled, including Suicide Prevention, Children and Young Peoples Mental Health, Perinatal Mental Health, Mental Health Resilience, Learning Disabilities and Autism, Community Mental Health, Urgent Care Mental Health and Individual Programme Support.
The event featured the following keynote speeches:
- Claire Murdoch CBE (National Director for Mental Health, NHSE/I) – provided update on national picture for mental health.
- Ray James CBE (National Director for Learning Disability and Autism, NHSE/I) – provided update on national picture for learning disabilities.
- Alastair Campbell (writer, communicator, strategist) – spoke of own experiences of mental health and presented his new book ‘Living Better: How I Learned to Survive Depression’.
- Prof Nav Kapur (Prof of Psychiatry and Population Health, University of Manchester) – presented his talk on preventing suicide and self-harm at a time of Covid-19.
Alastair Campbell spoke of his personal experiences of mental health and depression: “We all know someone with depression. There is barely a family untouched by it. We may be talking about it more than we did, but we still don’t talk about it enough. There is still stigma, and shame, and the feeling that admitting to being sad or anxious makes us weak. I passionately believe that the reverse is true and that speaking honestly about our feelings and experiences is the first and best step on the road to recovery. Through the conference and their hard work every day, health professionals across Humber, Coast and Vale are helping to provide vital support, to raise the profile of mental health and to reduce this stigma. Well done to all those involved.”
Other speakers included Professor Stephen Eames CBE (System Lead and Independent Chair for HCV HCP), Michele Moran (Senior Responsible Officer (Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Collaborative Programme), Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership; Chief Executive, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust) and Alison Flack (Programme Director (Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Collaborative Programme), Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership).
Michele Moran said: “This year has been extremely challenging for many people, and the conference has highlighted our many successes, including improved bereavement support, individual placement support services, Kooth – our online counselling platform and the HCV Mental Health Provider Collaborative. We are ambitious to do more and are striving to increase the focus on mental health and the impacts of the pandemic. We recognise that pre-Covid we were seeing an increase in the demand for support and that sadly this continues to grow. Thank you to everyone involved in the event, and to all the team for working tirelessly this year to make a difference to so many lives.”
Feedback from attendees was incredibly positive, with comments that the presentations were heartfelt and enjoyable. A recording of the conference, presentations, and short videos recorded by each programme lead providing updates on their work streams will be released in the coming weeks.
To find out more please visit https://humberandnorthyorkshire.org.uk/how/better-mental-health/.