The IIMHN is pleased to announce and support the  ‘CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON AND BEYOND “CHANGE” IN MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES’ Conference 2017 in UCC, on the 15th AND 16th NOVEMBER 2017.  The conference is organised by the School of Applied Social Studies and the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, in association with the Critical Voices Network Ireland.  The conference, now in its 9th year is unique, as it is free for all participants and it involves people from diverse backgrounds (self-experience, survivors, professionals, academics, carers) presenting, discussing and debating critical and creative perspectives on and beyond the dominant bio-medical approach. The 2010 conference saw the launch of the Critical Voices Network Ireland (CVNI), a network of people interested in considering and developing responses to human distress, which are creative, enabling, respectful and firmly grounded in human rights.  The conference aims to explore and debate critical perspectives on and beyond:
– What do we understand by ‘better’ mental health services?
– Do we need mental health services at all? If so, what should they look like? If not, what other ways are there?
– The politics of changing mental health services.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers (in alphabetical order):

  • Oor Mad History: a group of people with lived experience/mad identified, mad positive academics and mental health advocacy workers from Edinburgh, Scotland, interested in the newly emerging field of “Mad Studies”.
  • Jim van Os: Professor of Psychiatry at Utrecht Medical Centre (UMC), The Netherlands, interested and active in mental health care reform.
  • Diana Rose: Mental health service user throughout her adult life and now Professor of User-Led Research at King’s College London, researching mental health services from the perspective of those with mental distress who use such services.
  • Jolijn Santegoeds: Service user/survivor of psychiatry, and founder of a protest group in the Netherlands called “Rage against Isolation!”.
  • Paul Doherty: CEO at Slí Eile, which supports people to develop a strong foundation for mental health recovery by harnessing the power of intentional residential community, collective enterprise and discovery-based life-planning.
  • Jay Watts: consultant clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and activist, who has written widely about neoliberalism and the politics around mental health.

Concurrent Sessions: there will be workshops and oral presentations, related to the conference theme.

Call for Oral Presentations/Workshops (45 minutes’ duration) extended to 29 September: Submit an abstract (in Word – 250 words max) related to the conference theme, outlining its aims and intentions and a brief bio (in Word – 150 words max). Email abstract and bio to l.sapouna@ucc.ie.

Full programme: Full details will be available in mid October on http://www.ucc.ie/en/nursingmidwifery/news/ and http://www.ucc.ie/en/appsoc/resconf/conf/. Check http://www.uccconferencing.ie/walking-distance/ for accommodation. To get to Brookfield (UCC) check http://www.ucc.ie/en/visitors/getting-here/ Parking facilities are limited around UCC. Try car park next to Kingsley Hotel, Victoria Cross (10 walk from venue via footbridge behind Western Gateway Building on Western Road). Coffees and lunches not included. There are restaurants and cafes in and around the conference venue.


Venue: Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, Ireland.

Booking: Email Harry Gijbels h.gijbels@ucc.ie and make sure you give your name, and indicate the day(s) you wish to attend (either Wednesday 15 November, Thursday 16 November, or both days). Booking will be confirmed by return email. Please bring the booking confirmation slip with you to the conference registration desk on the day(s) you are attending.

The Conference organisers are Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies and Harry Gijbels (retired), Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland.