Refocus on Recovery 2017


Expert Workshop 1: Developing a national transformation programme

Facilitator: Julie Repper and Michael Ryan

This workshop will describe the purpose and development of the ImROC (Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change) methodology and summarise its achievements, challenges and lessons learnt. It will be of relevance to delegates who have a national or regional role in commissioning, developing and/or delivering mental health services.

Participants will work through a number of exercises to enable them to

• Consider the relevance and purpose of a national programme in their own area/service

• Identify the key stakeholders to collaborate with in constituting a national programme

• Discuss the primary importance of coproduction and plan a strategy to achieve coproduction at every level of the programme

• Review the meaning and relevance of the ten organisational challenges in the context of the areas/services in which delegates’ work.


Expert Workshop 2:  Using co-development techniques to shape digital projects in mental health

Facilitator:  Mark Brown

This workshop, delivered by Mark Brown, is for those wishing to explore practical techniques for developing digital mental health projects in co-productive and co-designed ways.  It is intended for people who want to learn about practical nuts and bolts approaches to making mental health digital projects that people might actually like and use.

Mark will explore the techniques he uses in these situations and their implications and application.

The session will be interactive, discussion based and lively and attendees will go away with ideas and practical methods that will be possible to implement as part of their digital development projects.


Expert Workshop 3:  Coaching for recovery

Facilitator:  Helen Cyrus-Whittle

This Masterclass in Coaching for Recovery and Wellbeing will be a dynamic exciting three hours which will impact you in all areas of your life and will help to give you tools to practically go away with; to look at how you live and deal with life’s situations as they arise and how you manage work and the people in your sphere of influence and concern.

 ‘Coaching works on the basis that you already have the answers within and with the use of powerful questions the mind will come up with the correct answer. It looks at where you are now and where do you want to get to without focusing on the past’

That being the case this workshop will help you to learn to ask the right questions and how to begin becoming skilled in using this technique. It is known to help change mind-sets, behaviours and increase self-awareness and in turn create changes in the areas you most need it for your professional/work/life development.

  • This workshop will endeavour to look at Goal setting exercises.
  • Different ways to communicate and demonstrations of how this can be effective in real life situations and therefore the dovetailing of the Principles of Recovery.
  • Enabling you to look at what you want, and how to go about taking these steps to develop that change.
  • To empower you to believe that you can change and plan the long term Goals whilst making/seeing the progress in the mini stages to get there.

You maybe the senior executive of a Trust or health organisation or someone who has lived experience, or a frontline worker.

The purpose of this Masterclass workshop will be based around the practical application of using Coaching tools and in so doing the understanding and principles to be able to use on yourself, with staff, clients or a management team.


Expert Workshop 4:  Drums and spears – Decolonising recovery

Facilitator:  Julie Gosling and Paul Atkinson

… we need a closer more informed relationship between the drums and spears … where the spears are rooted in the world of the drums … and if the drums no longer sound, we must beat them … and if we have no drums, we must build them … and if we have forgotten how to play them, we must remember or relearn … and if we can’t renew our continuity with the past, then we must make a virtue of our discontinuity and make it all anew …

Drums or spears – culture versus conflict? There are challenges within both survivor and allied practitioner activism to the take-over and exploitation of recovery and of the lived experience communities who nurtured and protected its territory. The drums represent the rhythms of indigenous culture which, like a heartbeat, sustain resistance to colonisation. Decolonising Recovery considers how creating cultural resistance strategies is in the long term more sustainable than tactics of direct conflict – although recognising that both have a place in our present refocus on recovery.

The context of this workshop plots mental health best practice in the roots of survivor / consumer theoretical modelling,  innovation and activism, tracking the inception of person-centred practice, advocacy, peer support, personalisation, co-production and indeed recovery itself, from those grass root beginnings within the human lived experiences of mental distress and difference, through their co-option, incorporation and colonisation by institutions of health and welfare and the ultimate commodification within government policy as agents of psycompulsion  and blame-shifting.

This workshop is a clarion call to all who are concerned by the impact of neoliberal colonisation and who wish to reclaim authenticity, integrity and agency through re-appropriating and radicalising mental health services, and renewed human relations rooted in compassion, collective well-being and the wisdom of personal lived experience. It will encourage participants to share dilemmas, validate achievements and together co-produce new and mutually healing strategies for rewarding relationships, sustainable best practice and survival within mental health and well-being provision.

In the present dismal climate of dismantled hopes and provision – and in true collaborative spirit – this workshop will gain from the participation of policy makers, managers, grass roots practitioners, service-users /carers – as community activists and change agents – drawing equally on professional and personal experience to co-construct dynamic and transformational frameworks for Recovery

The facilitators bring a wealth of activism and innovation from a range of pioneering  initiatives, applicable to present mental health systems and networks. Offered are a range of specific skills, tactics and strategies that can be implemented immediately into everyday practice, planning and response within both existing provision and the co-production of new possibilities and that draw on cutting edge thinking within change-management, mad constructs, emergent experience economies, open dialogue, commons ideologies and peer-to-peer collaborations.

Some of the tactics explored will cover:

  • Invisible Bullets – the hidden power and possibility of language
  • Gentle Subversions – comedy, arts and humanities as freedom fighters
  • Secret Messages – narratives as testimonies of experience and cultural guardians
  • Freedom Fighters – activisms of personal pain and distress
  • Agents of Resistance and Subversion – professional practice as insider activism
  • Rules of Exception – occupying policies, guidelines and legislation
  • Borderlands, Borderlines and Alliances – re-routing disciplines, roles and boundaries
  • Disruptive Technologies – democratising knowledge and learning from experience
  • United Front – collective solidarity, mutual healing, commons and co-production

The drums and spears of decolonised recovery seek long term cultural sustainability alongside present challenge for positive change. Long then after spears have laid to rest, let the drums beat on

… and may all that has been silenced … or reduced to noise within you … become music again …


Expert Workshop 5:  Building on cultures of peer support

Facilitator:  David Crepaz-Keay and Jayasree Kalathil

Peer support is becoming recognised as having a significant contribution to ensuring sustainable approaches to community mental health. Done well, peer support builds on strengths, builds experience into expertise. Done badly, however, peer support can be seen as second rate nursing on the cheap and can tarnish peer relationships.

This workshop will use international examples to;

  • explore the nature of peer relationships
  • identify ways of encouraging peer support to develop in different settings and communities
  • identify blocks and challenges to authentic peer support and how to overcome them

page updated 10 April 2017