Monthly Archives: January 2017

Professor Mike Slade introduces Refocus on Recovery 2017

Refocus on Recovery 2017 is an exciting international scientific conference which is coming to the Institute of Mental Health. It is the largest regular scientific conference on recovery in the world, and will take place on 18-20 September 2017. This is the first time the conference has been held outside London, and we know Nottingham will do us proud!

The conference is all about recovery for people with mental health problems, and is presenting world-leading research about how people can live well with illness. It is being organised by the Institute of Mental Health, School of Health Sciences (University of Nottingham), Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, ImROC, Making Waves and Mental Health Foundation.

Keynote speakers come from the UK (Steve Gillard, Isabella Goldie, Jayasree Kalathil, Anu Singh, Mike Slade) as well as from India (Manoj Kumar), Canada (Kwame McKenzie), Germany (Jasna Russo) and Norway (Mark Hopfenbeck). We will also hear from Jenny Edwards (Chief Executive, Mental Health Foundation) and Ruth Hawkins (Chief Executive, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust).

It promises a great opportunity for learning and networking. For the three previous Recovery conferences, around 500 people came from 25 countries.

There is a lively social programme, as well as the Gala Dinner, we have exciting creative opportunities such as the boomwhacker percussion energiser event, a ‘Story Shop’ offering a range of stories from people with lived experience and more….

The conference has four themes:

Theme 1: Recovery for different groups: The meaning of, and support for, recovery in long-term conditions (physical and mental). Recovery in marginalised groups, e.g. culturally-sensitive services. Understanding and supporting recovery in mental health systems, e.g. Open Dialogue, REFOCUS, Individual Placement and Support. Organisational and individual influences on Peer Support Workers, including the meaning of ‘peer’.

Theme 2: Re-situating recovery: Engaging with culture and community to make recovery a reality. Mainstreaming recovery, and links with other community initiatives, e.g. dementia-friendly communities. The role of family and supporters – what is a family in recovery? Improving access, e.g. digital interventions. Recovery Colleges as a bridge between mental health system and community. Insights from Mad Studies about recovery.

Theme 3: Prevention of mental ill-health: Supporting the development of resilience in individuals and communities. Creating inclusive communities. Inter-sectoral understandings of stigma and discrimination. National and local anti-stigma campaigns. Supporting self-management, including peer-led approaches. The role of inter-dependence. The impact of language and embedded assumptions. Developing new narratives, e.g. Mad lit, Photovoice.

Theme 4: Allocating resources: How money is spent, and with what effect. Service models and structures which foster or hinder recovery. Co-production and co-development approaches. The role of volunteers. Providing services in resource-poor settings. The contribution of health and social policy to recovery. The impact of legislation and commissioning arrangements.

Get on board!

  • Find out more about the expert workshops and the conference at com/ror2017
  • Submit an abstract (don’t miss the deadline: 28 February 2017).
  • Come along – register now, with a limited number of reduced rates for ‘early bird’ registrations.
  • Spread the word! This is such a great opportunity we don’t want to keep it to ourselves. Please feel free to send a link to this blog or the website to colleagues who may be interested.
  • Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag (#RonR2017).

We hope to see you there.

Mike Slade is Professor of Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion at the University of Nottingham, based in the School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and working at the Institute of Mental Health.


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IMH annual research day: 9th May, 2017. Call for papers

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) will be hosting its Annual Research Day to highlight the work of the Institute’s doctoral candidates, Managed Innovation Networks (MINs), and early-career researchers (including research assistants, research fellows, and research-active clinicians and service users).

There will be prizes for best oral presentation and best poster. The event is being promoted to all IMH members and we anticipate a good selection of speakers presenting and a good range of people in the audience — both local and national health researchers and practitioners plus IMH members. The event will be chaired by Professor Peter Bartlett and Dr Jenelle Clarke. There will also be plenary sessions from inspiring and established experts.

This Annual Research Day focuses intentionally on those at the beginning of their research careers, and represents a welcoming and career-developing forum for researchers (it is wonderful for the CV and excellent presentation practice in a friendly setting).

We expect the format to resemble that of a conference with 20 minute oral presentations per paper with 10 minutes for questions from the floor.

Please submit a title and 250 word abstract to:
Dr Jenelle Clarke (
By Monday 3rd April 2017


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Alessandro Bosco: Alzheimer Europe conference 2016


Can we create a dementia-friendly society? This was the question around which people with dementia, carers, professionals and academic researchers gathered during the 26th Alzheimer Europe conference in Copenhagen.

A large representation from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) attended the event to promote the innovative (and diverse) research that the Institute is nationally and internationally renowned for and contribute with their ideas and expertise to the scientific discourse around dementia. All the attendees had unique networking opportunities with colleagues from all over the world and many of us presented their work through posters and oral presentations. Professor Martin Orrell, director of the IMH and Head of the division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, was present to promote the work of the institute and to create new European partnerships in dementia research.

Professor Tom Dening, head of the IMH Centre for Dementia, gave an oral presentation during the INTERDEM session entitled, ‘Where’s the happiness in dementia?’, which led to a lively discussion about the emotional experiences of people with dementia. He gave an oral presentation on a parallel session about   (The Arts and Dementia), a programme of the Nottingham-Worcester doctoral training centre funded by the Alzheimer’s Society. Tom also exhibited a poster on the NIHR Optimal project on effective health care for older people resident in care homes. A Medical student, Imogen Ovenden, who Tom supervises for her BMedSci, displayed a poster entitled ‘Bowling for Dementia’

Professor Justine Schneider and Alessandro Bosco co-presented a Social return on investment analysis of the Imagine study on arts interventions for people with dementia. People with dementia and their carers reported positive outcomes in relation to the mental wellbeing of participating individuals following involvement in arts programmes. These findings call for consistent integration of diverse arts activities in the care setting.

An example of art performance which promotes the mental wellbeing and quality of life of people with dementia was illustrated by Dr Orii McDermott, who presented on the development and preliminary evaluation of the CHORD (CHOrus Research in Dementia) Manual. This project aims to identify music therapeutic techniques that are transferable to facilitators of music activities and to develop a standardised singing manual.

Quality of life was central to the work that Déborah De Oliveira presented, entitled ‘Identifying meaningful aspects of quality of life for older family carers of people with dementia in focus groups’. Deborah also had a poster on the ‘Development and psychometric evaluation of the dementia quality of life scale for older family carers – DQoL-OC’. Our colleague Lucy Perry-Young presented ‘Broadening our understanding of good home care for people with dementia’.

Some PhD students also attended the conference. Aline Cavalcanti Barroso and Harleen Rai had an opportunity to collect ideas around their PhD projects on assistive technology in dementia. Claudio Di Lorito discussed and promoted his PhD project on the mental health of forensic psychiatric patients with dementia.

Having just begun with my doctoral studies, this was a spectacular first taste of my journey in dementia research. Indeed, I considered this my baptism of fire, as I had the opportunity to co-present my work in front of a large and technical audience during a parallel session. This was a fulfilling experience and a professionally enriching one, as I was able to challenge my stage fright, build up confidence and master my presentation. The audience responded engagingly to my talk and I was thrilled to receive very positive feedback from members of the audience at the end.

Although there were several poster and oral presentations on quality of care, little was dedicated to the models of person-centred care in dementia. Does the support people with dementia receive respect their personhood? Are the current models inclusive of the experience of the carers? During my first year, I aim to gather the existing evidence in this crucial area through a scoping review around person-centred care models. Given the centrality of personhood and the role of carers in delivering the care, it is timely that this concept is acknowledged and addressed if we aim to build a dementia-friendly society. I hope I will have the opportunity to present the findings of my review during the conference next year and share good practice with colleagues from different countries at the INTERDEM academy meetings to come.

Hoping that an even larger representation of researchers and people from the public will attend next year’s conference, we invite you to join us as ambassadors for dementia at the Alzheimer Europe conference 2017 in Berlin, Germany.

Alessandro Bosco is a postgraduate researcher and an Economic and Social Research Council PhD candidate in Mental Health & Wellbeing at the Institute of mental Health, University of Nottingham. Contact:



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