I have attended this conference today with my daughter Elizabeth. I thought it was very well organised and had some excellent speakers. I was particularly impressed with the workshop run by Rachel Waddingham. Elizabeth took part in most of the conference this time as at the INTAR conference I missed the bulk of the lectures as Elizabeth did not feel well enough but enjoyed the workshops.
For Elizabeth to be there at this conference it is an ordeal at first. Whenever we leave the house Elizabeth feels does not feel well but this is because she hardly got out at all whilst under ” care” for the past three years. Gradually I am hoping to build up her confidence but there is no help for someone like me as a mother because no one cares less. A team prefers for someone to be in care rather than at home and home is clearly benefitting Elizabeth everyone has commented on this. So I am taking Elizabeth to all my courses as I want her to hear from the professionals that are good and honest and very brave to speak the truth. Jaakko Seikkula gave a very interesting talk about the wonderful care in Finland. I had tried to obtain this wonderful care in Finland for my daughter previously by contacting the Embassy and being put in touch with the professionals but I was disappointed there was not a chance of me getting the right care as I would have taken Elizabeth to Finland personally. She has spent some time working there and has happy memories there and has asked to go to Finland and I as a mother have been researching where the correct care is myself only to find there is nothing in the UK as yet to give choice to patients who do not appear to get better on the acute wards and this is causing problems with shortage of beds. Jaakko Seikkula talked about Open Dialogue and this is something I myself as a mother and all the former patients and other mothers would like to see in the UK. It should not be dismissed the fact that in Tornio, Finland they have a huge success rate and it is no wonder why. Over here families are treated as invisible and especially if you dare to disagree with what these professionals have to say. So I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the professionals who do have good things to say today. I think if my daughter had this treatment she would get better and it would be nice to be included. Elizabeth has always wanted this and has said so in the past. Jaakko Seikkula has been involved in developing family and social network based practices in psychiatry and psychosis and other severe crises and since the early 1980’s was a member of the team in Western Lapland, Finland for developing the comprehensive Open Dialgoue Approach. See more at http://www.taosinstitute.net/jaakko-seikkula-phd#sthash.ihSFPWnZ.dpuf.
We attended one workshop by Rachel Waddingham, manager of the London Hearing Voices Project at Mind in Camden. This was very interesting. I I have witnessed someone in the family hear voices due to severe trauma over something that happened however Elizabeth has never heard voices which led me to question the diagnosis of Schizophrenia – the only time I saw any kind of adverse reaction was purely down to the mind altering chemicals that would affect anyone. I have listened to and witnessed severe reactions on more than one of these drugs. The symptoms could well affect anyone whether they have a so called “mental illness” or not and that is another thing – Eleanor Longden is right to use the word “condition” – so Rachel is someone Elizabeth can identify with and she has been in and out of shocking acute wards herself. I quite agree with her about self help and peer support in recovery from extreme states of mind and holistic approaches – I wish every professional could listen to what she has to say. How beneficial it was to take Elizabeth along to the conference and this workshop. See http://www.hearing-voices.org and http://www.behindthelabel.co.uk. I thoroughly agree with everything she has to say. Other good speakers were Lucy Johnstone and Professor John Read who I spoke to as well at the conference. I told him how much I would like to see action over here. Now that things have been discussed there is the expertise in the UK however they all need to get together and do something urgently. When peoples’ lives are at risk then more of these experts should be coming up with a plan of action – Open Dialogue is one solution as it includes family unlike at present where you are treated as if you do not exist.
Any way I am glad I attended this conference and was very happy to show Elizabeth that there are Professionals out there who wish to see much needed change.
I would like to join Elizabeth as a member of ISPS and I would recommend this Conference to anyone.