Developing a New Vision for Mental Health Services in Gibraltar
An innovative and exciting Conference and Networking Event for participants interested in developing and improving mental health services is being held at Lathbury Barracks on Wednesday, 25th - Friday, 27th October 2006. This international event includes speakers and participants from the United States, United Kingdom, Jersey, Spain and Bermuda. The event is being planned and organised by Dr Karen Norman, Director of Nursing Services for the GHA, Dr Arthur Cantos, Director of Mental Health, Gibraltar Health Authority, Dr Javier Aparicio, Consultant Psychiatrist and staff from King George V Hospital and the Community Mental Health Team. The Conference Planning Group has also been working with other agencies in Gibraltar providing mental health services, including the Gibraltar Police, Social Services, The Elderly Care Agency, Voluntary Sector, Bruce’s Farm, Private Clinics, the Voluntary Sector, King George V Hospital, Community Mental Health Team and Primary care.
The event will be facilitated by Dr Norman and Dr Nicholas Sarra, a Consultant Psychotherapist of the Devon Partnership Trust in the UK. The structure of the Conference and the way it is organised is based on a previous event held in the UK aimed at improving services for older people. The structure of the three days builds on ideas from their respective Doctoral theses, and is designed to be much more than “just a Conference”. Their research looking at how change happens in organisations has demonstrated the importance of practitioners meeting together and discussing and sharing their ideas and practice. With this in mind, the first day of the Conference (which will be opened by the Hon Ernest Britto – Minister for Health) and chaired by Dr Cantos, will establish small groups of people from different backgrounds and different countries (including Gibraltarian participants) which will be hosted by key agencies within Gibraltar providing Mental Health Services. The small groups will spend time discussing different approaches to care and reflecting on their own practice. This enables all participants both to hear about new and innovative ideas and to discuss practical solutions to the shared challenges with those working in Mental Health Services face across the world.
The keynote speech on the 25th October will be given by Dr Lou Gallagher, the Supervising Psychologist, Suffolk County Division of Community Mental Hygiene Services, Hauppauge, New York. Dr Gallagher will be addressing the audience on the topic of Disaster Mental Health Services planning, based on lessons learned from the Winter Storm of 1992, World Trade Centre Bombing (93), Sunrise Wildfires (93), TWA Flight 800 (96), Flight 800 Anniversary (97), and World Trade Centre Destruction (01) will be presented.
The theme for Thursday, 26th October is ‘Laying the Foundations : Looking at how we practice’. The day will be chaired by Mr Titi Baglietto, the Clinical Nurse Manager, King George V Hospital. After a facilitated session to enable participants to feedback their reflection and learning from the discussion and visits on the Wednesday, participants will have the opportunity to choose from an extensive series of Workshops where Mental Health Practitioners share their expertise in smaller Workshops of between 12 and 20 participants.
These will cover a variety of topics, including the diagnosis and treatment of specific clinical conditions, developing mental health teams and moving from a custodial to therapeutic model of mental health service. The keynote address will be given by Dr Darryl Britto, Consultant Psychiatrist, formerly Clinical Tutor and Honorary Lecturer of the University of Community Psychiatry, at Leeds at 4.00 pm. Dr Britto will be speaking on ‘From Dawn to Dusk – Asylums to Community Mental Health. Have we got it right? What is the future?’ Participants will have the opportunity to mix more informally in the evening when a Conference buffet and social event is being held.
The theme for Friday, 27th October is ‘Building our Future: Exploring challenges / changing the care environment (looking at where we practice)’. The day will be chaired by Dr David McCutcheon, Chief Executive Officer of Gibraltar Health Authority. Two keynote speakers, Lisa Rodrigues, Chief Executive of Sussex Partnership NHS Trust in the UK and Ian Dyer, Directorate Manager, Mental Health Services, Jersey Health & Social Services, will be sharing their experiences which will include how their organisations planned, built and commissioned new mental health facilities.
This will enable further networking and dialogue to take place and is particularly timely in view of the plans to develop our new mental health facility in Gibraltar. This will be followed by further opportunities for delegates to attend two out of a choice of nine further workshops before the plenary remarks and closing of the Conference at 3.00 p.m.
The Conference Planning Committee would like to note their appreciation for sponsorship for the Conference provided by: The Mental Welfare Society and Nicoblock.