The Durham Conference

Voices, Visions and other Extraordinary Experiences:
The Challenges of Being a Mental Health Nurse

Thursday 9 – Friday 10 April 2015

2pm – 5.30pm Thursday 9 April (panel discussions open to the public)

9am – 4pm Friday 10 April (workshop for experts in mental health nursing)

Ustinov Room, Van Mildert, Durham University
                  Millhill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LH

Free to attend but registration is essential.

  • Are you a mental health nurse who believes, passionately, in providing person-centred care?
  • Are you interested in exploring some of the ethical and practical dilemmas faced by nurses across the country in every day practice?
  • Do you want to take part in an interactive conference that explores these challenges head on, drawing together wisdom from different voices to plot a way forward?

These events will bring together a diverse group of people with an interest in mental health nursing to facilitate a dialogue about the challenges faced by people working in, and using, mental health services. By reflecting on both what’s not working in ‘the system’ and areas of innovation we will explore how nurses can be an integral part of creating real change in the way we understand and support people in extreme distress.

During the second day, we will also explore the potential for an autonomous Critical Mental Health Nurses’ Network that can take forward some of the issues and ideas arising from the two days.

Public Event: Mental Health Nursing: From Both Sides – Thursday 9 April, 2 – 5.30pm

Featuring experts by experience and profession: Peter Bullimore, Fiona MacCallum, Russell Razzaque, Valentina Short, Gary Sidley, Paul Veitch and Rachel Waddingham.

Open to all, the first afternoon will feature presentations and discussions that explore diverse experiences of mental health nursing and examples of progressive practice. Topics will include: Mental Health and Stigma, Language and Power, Peer Supported Open Dialogue, the Maastricht Assessment Centre and the experiences of local nurses and experts by experiences.

Mental health nurses, users of mental health services, members of Hearing Voices groups, families and carers, healthcare professionals, academics, students and members of the general public are all welcome to attend.

Workshop: Facing the Challenges of Being a Mental Health Nurse – Friday 10 April, 9 – 4pm

Open to mental health nurses and experts by experience, this interactive workshop will explore some of the key dilemmas faced in mental health nursing from multiple perspectives. These include: choice, crisis and coercion; developing progressive practice in cash-strapped times; what is it to really be a nurse. Creative facilitator Mary Robson will lead the workshop, which culminates in a session headed by Joel Waddingham, Adam Jhugroo and Jonathan Gadbsy on the establishment of a Critical Mental Health Nurses’ Network.


There is no charge to attend either event but registration is essential. Please note that a maximum of 50 places are available for the Friday workshop, which is intended for those with first-hand experience of mental health nursing only.

To register for these events, please click here.

If you would like to attend both the Public Event and the Workshop, please make sure you register for both events.

This event is hosted and funded by Hearing the Voice, Durham University. Steering group and organising committee: Alisdair Cameron, Jonathan Gadsby, Charles Fernyhough, Adam Jhugroo, Valentina Short, Joel Waddingham, Rachel Waddingham and Angela Woods.

Hearing the Voice is pleased to offer five travel bursaries of up to £50 each to mental health service users wishing to attend to the workshop. To apply for these bursaries please email Dr Victoria Patton, Project Coordinator (Hearing the Voice), explaining why you wish to attend this event and how you will apply the learning from the day.

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