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Social Power and Mental Health Steering Group
This conference seeks to create dialogue between two forms of expertise. It will bring together people with lived experience of mental distress and researchers, with the aim of starting conversations between these two groups of experts. We also recognise that many people belong in both groups.
Our theme is the link between social power and mental health. Disempowered social groups are at an increased risk of mental distress. They are more likely to face difficult economic, social and environmental conditions. Gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability and social class intersect with these. What are the latest research findings on these topics? How do they compare with lived experiences? When might research worsen mental distress? What kinds of methods can produce empowerment?
We will also reflect on the social context of mental health, power and inequality. While mental wellbeing is now being discussed widely, stigma remains significant. And people who are already disempowered are much more likely to be labelled ‘mentally ill’. How does stigma link to social power? What is the role of psychiatric services and the welfare state? How are power inequalities reinforced, and how can we challenge them? How do we work towards a future where everyone can openly share their lived experiences, be valued for their contribution and appropriately supported in their endeavours?
The conference has been designed with people who have used psychiatric services in Cambridgeshire. Our speakers include social scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists and service users/survivors. Throughout there will be group discussions with local people who have experience of mental distress.
Our intent is for people with lived experience to take the lead as we explore the many intersections between mental health and social power. The conference aims to place research expertise and the expertise of experience on an equal footing. We want to work together to find gaps in knowledge, and then outline a future research agenda to address these. How can we challenge power inequalities in, and through, research? And how can we evolve research by valuing lived experience?
Registration links for this conference can be found on the right of this page.
There will be British Sign Language and closed captions. If you have any other specific accessibility needs for this event, please do get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate your request.
Conference assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org
BSL Interpreters and Live Captioning will be available at all of these events
Monday 19 April
Chair: Ed Kiely
Tuesday 20 April
Aude Konan (they/them) (Writer and Playwright)
Furaha Asani (she/her) (Researcher, Teacher and Mental Health Advocate)
Maya McFarlane (she/her) (Women’s and Non-Binary Officer of the CUSU BME Campaign)
|18.30 – 20.00 (BST)||
Chair: Grace Rosemin
Paper 2: Ruth Smith and Anna Smith
Paper 3: Neil Armstrong and Lamis Bayar
Paper 4: Simon Duffy
Local Journey 1: Wendy Joyce Clarke
Wednesday 21 April
|14.30 - 16.00 (BST)||
Chair: Camice Revier
Paper 6: Keira Pratt-Boyden
Paper 7: Liz Rotherham
Paper 8: Annie Whilby
|18.30 - 20.00 (BST)||
Keynote: Imogen Tyler
Thursday 22 April
|13.00 – 14.30 (BST)||
Chair: Ann Galpin
Paper 10: Peter Beresford
Paper 11: Helen Spandler
Paper 12: Dorothy Gould
|16.00 - 17.30 (BST)||
Chair: Elmira Zadissa
Local Journey 2: Jo Fox
Paper 14: Helen Spandler
Local Journey 3: Michael Brown
Friday 23 April
|17.30 - 19.00 (BST)||
Keynote: Rai Waddingham