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Release of DCP lived experience position paper joins moves to turn over stigmatising cultures

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

Things are hotting up in the world of destigmatising lived experience in the registered mental health professions, the things I have been involved with are coming to fruition!:

▶️ Division of Clinical Psychology (DCP) 'Statement on clinical psychologists with lived experience of mental health difficulties'. The DCP has made a statement publicly recognising and supporting the unique and valued contribution that lived experience of mental health difficulties brings to individuals working within clinical psychology. A big thank you to our working group at the DCP: Camilla Hogg, Simon Mudie, Sophie Allan, Dr Julia Faulconbridge, Dr Amra Rao, Dr Richard Pemberton and Dr Sheelagh Rodgers.

▶️ Update: The Division of Clinical Psychology guidance on 'supporting and valuing lived experience of mental health problems in clinical psychology training'. A brilliant project to work on as Research Fellow at UCL Unit for Stigma Research with Professor Katrina Scior, Dr Henry Clements, Dr Kathy White and those of our contributing working group whose names are cited in the Guide.

▶️ Launch of in2gr8mentalhealth on 14th September at 7pm, subscribe to our YouTube channel to see Dr Anna Chiara Sicilia and I live, explaining how we can help and forthcoming work.

▶️ Launch of in2gr8mentalhealth 'in conversation with' series interviewing mental health professionals from different disciplines, all talking about their lived experience of mental health difficulties to destigmatise: from the UK to the US and Australia. A big thank you to those who helped crowdfund enough money to get the help of Mind Wick for post production.

▶️ The soon to sit Health and Care Professions Council's (HCPC) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion forum, I'm looking forward to asking them what their position is on lived exerience in the mental health professions. I am very sure they could help demystify 'fitness to practise fear' and the over conflation of incompetence with mental health difficulties - it certainly needs cutting down to size. This needs to be reflected in policy and practice.

▶️ The Association of Clinical Psychologists hosting in2gr8mentalhealth workshops beginning in September. These workshops are led by modeling our lived experience here at in2gr8, and are an opportunity to for smaller groups of us in the professions to gather round and think together about the impact of systemic stigma on our personal and professional development...and how to feel safe and ready to challenge it!

▶️ We continue to work with many clinical psychology courses, teaching a similar workshop as above to trainees entering the profession.

It is important to remember that this work was born from pain, anger and activism, because the mental health scene has silenced and stigmatised those with lived experience of mental health problems. We work in concert with those who have lived experience, who aren't mental health professionals, in having it valued widely through service developmentn in, particular:

  • Re:Create Psychiatry who work to enable safe, creative spaces for people who use mental health services, and those who provide them, to talk candidly about their experiences and share stories of what it’s like to access mental health services, as well as to deliver them.

  • David Gilbert, Patient Director at Sussex MSK Partnership, who has written the groundbreaking book The Patient Revolution.

This is everything and more that I dreamed of and grasped onto when I broke down as a clinical psychologist, I needed to find meaning and change. But if you can dream it, it is possible. Find your allies, keep going, it is heart energy that fuels deep faith and perseverence. Good people will find you, you work it together and it becomes a community purpose.

This is just a beginning, it is not a time to congratulate ourselves, this should never have been an issue. It is time to start turning over stigmatising cultures in training and workplaces.

Let's begin.

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