UCC Conference on Mental Health

University College Cork
Speakers from across Ireland, England, Scotland, the Netherlands and Australia will gather in UCC this week for the Dr Michael Corry Memorial Conference.

Titled “Critical positions on and beyond recovery”, the conference aims to provide a forum for people from diverse backgrounds to present, discuss and debate critical perspectives on and beyond recovery in the area of mental health.

The event is being organised again this year by Harry Gijbels of the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery and Lydia Sapouna of the School of Applied Social Studies, UCC.

Keynote speakers at this year’s conference which runs on November 10th and 11th include Aine Tubridy (psychotherapist and partner of the late Dr Michael Corry, who will present the opening keynote address), Pat Bracken (consultant psychiatrist in West Cork, and a well-known critic of the traditional bio-medical model), Ivor Brown (retired psychiatrist and Emeritus Professor at UCD) and John McCarthy (founder of Mad Pride Ireland).

Organiser Harry Gijbels commented, “We are really excited about this year’s conference and look forward to contributions from those with self experience of emotional distress, their families, and those who have developed innovative and creative approaches, both within and outside of mental health services.”

Fellow organiser Lydia Sapouna said, “Our speakers this year have a huge contribution to make. Speakers such as Grainne Humphrys (a local mental health campaigner, whose partner is resident in a secure unit in Cork City) are voices that we hope will be heard even more through the establishment of the ‘National network of critical voices’.”

This year it is also hoped to establish a ‘Network of critical voices in mental health’ which is intended to be a coalition of service users, family members, carers, professionals, academics and interested others who want a mental health system which is not based on the traditional bio-medical model.

The conference is being held at the Brookfield Health Sciences Complex with the programme starting at 10am on Wednesday and 9.15am on Thursday, and finish at 5.00 pm each day.

Admission to the conference is free. There are limited places available and people can register by emailing h.gijbels@ucc.ie

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