The following are up and coming conferences or events (currently a list of three) that we feel may be of interest to the network. Please let us know if you feel that there are more that should be included. Also, please let us know if you plan to go and would like to write a report!

The network has been notified of the following conference, taking place in Ireland. This is a very large conference and this is its 7th year. They have a Facebook page with nearly 2000 members.


Harry Gijbels wrote to us to ask if we would put it on our events page. He says:

This is a conference which Lydia Sapouna (from the School of Applied Social Studies) and I have been running since 2009. At the 2010 conference the Critical Voices Network Ireland was launched. We used to have a website, but currently under construction. We do have a Facebook page with nearly 2000 members. Some of the keynotes of previous years are on

The conference has grown from year to year and is now considered one of the most important conferences of its kind in Ireland. Unfortunately, we can only accommodate 500 delegates. If we could accommodate more we probably have around 700 delegates each year. There are now just over 450 registered, so nearly full. A waiting list will then be started.

Venue: Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.  Booking: To book a place, email  Please make sure you give your name, and indicate the day(s) you wish to attend (either Wednesday 11 NovemberThursday 12 November, or both days). Booking will be confirmed by return email. Registration: Please bring the booking confirmation slip with you to the conference registration desk on the day(s) you are attending.
The conference aims to explore and debate critical perspectives on:
–       The value of talking therapies
–       The politics of the therapy industry
–       Talking therapies as another expert system
–       Other ways (beyond therapies) to support people in distress
This conference, now in its seventh 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.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers (in alphabetical order):

Wilma Boevink, experiential expert, social scientist at the Trimbos-Institute, the Netherlands.  Former Professor of Recovery and founder of Tree (towards Recovery, Empowerment and Experiential Expertise).

Jacqui Dillon a respected speaker, writer and activist, who has lectured and published worldwide on trauma, psychosis, dissociation and recovery. Jacqui is the national Chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England.

Rory Doody, Recovery Development Advocate. He is a voice hearer and engages with his own mental health as often as he breathes! Plagued by inner questions like “who does this serve?” he enquires in the different areas of his work, involving education, case work, service and policy developments, structural change, and good intentions.

Malcolm Garland, consultant psychiatrist in Dublin.  His team tries to incorporate novel and alternative approaches, including a minimal medication approach and an ethos fostering individuation, not dependence.

David Pilgrim,  Honorary Professor of Health & Social Policy at the University of Liverpool and Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Southampton. His career has been divided between working as a policy researcher and as a clinical psychologist in the British NHS.

Dina Poursanidou, Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, based at the Service User Research Enterprise; Dina has used mental health services since 2008; Member of Asylum, the magazine for democratic psychiatry.
Concurrent Sessions: the conference also includes a series of workshops and oral presentations, related to the conference theme.

Full programme: full details will be available in early October on and . Check for accommodation. To get to Brookfield (UCC) check 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.
The Conference organisers are Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies and Harry Gijbels, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland.

Click on the following link to download the conference flyer:

conference flyer with reg details 15.9.2015



Thursday 12th November 2015 – Friday 13th November 2015 at Novotel Birmingham Centre

This is an important event for anyone interested in critical ideas in mental health in the UK and beyond. The British Psychological Society are leading one of the most powerful challenges to the logic of the DSM/ICD in the world at present and their choice to focus on the legacy of David Smail is a one which will bring mental health concerns directly into the sphere of politics. However, we note that the price for the conference is very steep and it is clearly designed for clinical psychologists. For those who are attracted to the content but put off by the price we are considering a few options – such as producing some blog content about the work of several of the speakers and indeed, David Smail’s work, which may be of great interest to nurses. If you would like to be part of this in some way, please be in touch.


17 November, Nottingham

Finally, there will be a conference on November 17th in Nottingham which will be of real interest to anyone interested in mental health services. It is the PCCS books conference, “Positive Action for Change in Mental Health Services”. The line up of speakers is a real indication of the importance of this publishing house! PCCS will be part of our own conference in September.

If you know of an even which feels relevant for this network, please let us know by contacting us.

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