Cardiff welcomed delegates to the 23rd International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference (#MHNR2017), which took place at City Hall on September 14th and 15th 2017. This was the conference’s first visit to Wales, with the theme for the year being Imagination, Invention and Inquiry. Papers were welcomed emphasising the need for new ideas, new research and new ways of providing services. As a curtain-raiser, with the involvement of André Tomlin (aka The Mental Elf), keynote speakers took part in a pre-conference streamed webinar which can still be viewed .
#MHNR2017 (which until last year was known as the Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research Conference), was organised jointly by Mental Health Nurse Academics UK (MHNAUK) and the Royal College of Nursing. It remains the UK’s leading annual event of its kind. Chair of the conference steering committee for this year was Professor Ben Hannigan from the School of Healthcare Sciences, who opened proceedings with a welcome address. Across the two days keynote speakers (all of whom were live streamed) were Professor Joy Duxbury, who drew on her programme of research into reducing restrictive practices; Dr Phil Cooper, Danny Sculthorpe and Jimmy Gittins who gave inspirational talks drawing on the personal experience of mental distress and their work with State of Mind; Dr Jay Watts, who challenged delegates to embrace the idea of trauma-informed care; Professor Paul French, who spoke as one of two inaugural MHNAUK Lecturers on his programme of research into psychosis; Dr Michael Coffey, the second inaugural MHNAUK Lecturer, who talked about the problem of assessing risk; and Professor Gary O’Reilly who introduced his research into the use of computer games as a vehicle for the provision of psychological therapies for young people with mental health difficulties.
#MHNR2017 also provided an opportunity for Cardiff academics to showcase their research and engagement activities. Delegates were introduced to the ongoing 3MDR for treatment resistant post-traumatic stress disorder study, led by Professor Jon Bisson. Ben Hannigan presented a new analysis from the Collaborative Care Planning Project (COCAPP) of the practice and processes of care coordination, and introduced a paper uniting theory, design and research methods for the study of complex mental health systems. Dr Nicola Evans talked of her work with colleagues in Canada and Australia on benchmarking competencies for mental health nurses working in child and adolescent mental health services, and Alicia Stringfellow and Gemma Stacey-Emile talked of their work promoting mental health and wellbeing in Grangetown through the Community Gateway project. John Hyde presented his research into the boundaries between community mental health teams and crisis resolution and home treatment services.
Planning for #MHNR2018 will begin shortly, with updates available via the conference twitter account.