This year’s conference title is “CREATING SAFE SPACES IN MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEMS: CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES”. Although of course creating safe spaces is particularly appropriate and relevant at this very moment, the title and theme was decided upon well before the corona virus outbreak. As you are no doubt aware, concerns continue to be expressed that mental health systems do not provide safe spaces for people in intense distress. Indeed, it is often the opposite, with people referring to experiences of de-humanisation, coercion and re-traumatisation. Acknowledging such concerns, the conference focuses on the importance of developing and providing safe spaces for people experiencing distress. The conference offers opportunities to examine:
• what we understand by safe spaces in mental health systems
• what makes it so difficult to offer safe spaces
• the increasing use of coercion and forced treatment to try and maintain people’s ‘safety’
• what safe spaces may look like and how these may be experienced by people in distress
• ways to support people in intense distress in spaces where they feel safe and respected
Please see below the conference flyer and call for abstracts in the attached. We hope to see you again in November, and if not, then November 2021! We’ll keep you posted on developments. In the mean time, we look forward to abstracts in relation to the conference’s theme.
Please share with your own networks as appropriate. Thanks.
Lydia Sapouna and Harry Gijbels