Dec 202013

Geoff bThe launch of ‘Safewards’, a project designed to reduce rates of conflict and containment in adult in-patient mental health settings took place at Merley House on Thursday 12th December. The work is part of a major initiative led by Len Bowers, Professor of Psychiatric Nursing at King’s College London and the Institute of Psychiatry. Local implementation is being led by the Trust, in partnership with Dorset Mental Health Forum and BU, and is a natural progression from research on ‘aspirations towards zero restraint’ carried out earlier in the year.

The launch event included a presentation of findings from the ‘zero restraint’ work, led by Phil Morgan (Lead for Recovery and Social Inclusion, DHUFT) and Andy Mercer (Professional Lead for Mental Health, BU), and the first showing of a very powerful short film produced by Dorset Mental Health Forum in which service users reflect on their personal experiences of restraint and seclusion. The main part of the evening was led by Geoff Brennan, a key member of the Safewards research team at the Institute of Psychiatry, who presented the outcomes of this major research study into conflict and containment, and the new model for managing conflict in in-patient mental health settings.

The evening was well attended by a mix of professionals and service users/peer specialists. Paul Lumsden, Director of Nursing & Quality at DHUFT confirmed the Trusts’ commitment to this approach, and invited ward S-wardsmanagers to join the first phase of the project. Liz James will lead the day-to-day activity as Project Manager.

The full Safewards project, including details of the model, intervention strategies, and the evidence base behind the Safewards approach are available by visiting the Safewards website


Dec 202013

A new CurrDEUKiculum for Dementia Education in the UK has been launched. The curriculum is a guide for developing the content of higher education programmes for health and social care sectors such as nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and social work. The curriculum will help universities to ensure their courses address the knowledge and skills health and social care professionals need to care for people with dementia.

The curriculum has been developed in a systematic way by members of the Higher Education Dementia Network over several years, and has included consultation with people living with dementia, their families, dementia care practitioners and network members. The Higher Education Dementia Network includes representatives from over 50 UK universities with an interest in dementia care, and includes several colleagues from BU.

For more details, and to download a copy of the curriculum document, go to the Dementia UK website by following this link Continue reading »

Oct 042013



This year World Mental Health Day is on Thursday 10 October 2013, and BU have been working in partnership with several organisations – Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Richmond Fellowship and Borough of Poole – to arrange a number of events during the week of 7-11 October. This link has all the details, and you can book a place at your chosen events by following this link . Please do come along to one or more of the presentations, and visit the various stands set up by our partner organisations. We hope the range of events will encourage students, staff and the public to start talking openly about mental health.

During this exciting week you will also have the opportunity to:

•             Make a pledge towards challenging stigma and discrimination at one of the events.

•             See the Time to Change Dorset videos – a collection of 3 short films featuring people who live and work/study in Dorset sharing their stories of personal recovery from mental health issues – also available via the BU YouTube channel – see

•             See the ‘supporting you and your mental health’ video which details the university and community services that provide support for people concerned about mental health issues, again via the BU YouTube channel.

•             Win £40 in Argos vouchers if you are able to answer correctly the questions from the Time to Change Mental Health quiz [this is open to students and staff]. The quiz will be open from 7th-11th October. Completed entries should be returned by email to:

•             See ‘Time to Change’ publicity throughout the BU estate and receive a goodie bag.  



Sep 122013

Our 2013 UDMH Conference “Engagement in Life: Promoting Wellbeing and Mental Health” took place on 6th September. It was a lively and thought provoking day, with three excellent keynote sessions from Rachel Perkins OBE, Kevan Jones MP,  and Prof Geoff Shepherd, interspersed with a wide ranging selection of workshops and concurrent sessions.


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Thanks to everyone who took part, particularly the presenters who made a significant contribution to a very successful day. Further reports, and summaries of a number of the presentations will be posted here soon.

Sep 052013

The 2013 University Department of Mental Health conference is taking place tomorrow, with over 230 delegates registered. The conference will focus on recovery, and is titled ‘ Engagement in Life: Promoting Wellbeing and Mental Health’. We are delighted to have Kevan Jones, MP, Rachel Perkins, OBE and Prof Geoff Shepherd as keynote speakers. In addition, an interesting and wide-ranging
programme of concurrent sessions has been chosen from a ‘Call for Recovery-focused Papers’ that prompted an excellent response.
The conference is dedicated to the memory of Prof Fran Biley, who sadly died in November 2012. Fran was a valued colleague, committed to the values of recovery, and played a key role in the success of our 2011 conference.

Sep 052013

BU have released three short films to raise awareness of mental health and challenge stigma. They reflect the nations ‘It’s time to talk’ campaign, and are available via YouTube. The films were developed and made in conjunction with Dorset Healthcare University Foundation NHS Trust, Dorset Mental Health Forum, Time to Change and Healthwatch Dorset and feature people who live and work/study in Dorset sharing their stories of their personal recovery from mental health issues. There is also a link to anattitudes to mental health issues survey ( which aims to look at people’s experience to establish whether watching any of these videos has started to change or reinforce existing attitudes towards mental health issues.

See the films by following these links….

Speaking up – Time to Change Dorset (T2C) Film 1

You can recover – Time to Change Dorset (T2C) Film 2

Stronger, better, person – Time to Change Dorset (T2C) Film 3

….and let us know what you think – by commenting on YouTube or by completing the survey.

Update – September 2013 – we now have had over 3700 views of the films, so hopefully the message is getting out!

Mar 212013

Bournemouth University and Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust are issuing a call for abstract submissions for the biennial recovery-focused mental health Conference on September 6th 2013. The conference will take place at Bournemouth University and will be attended by mental health professionals, health commissioners, researchers and service users. The purpose of the conference is to disseminate information about new research, innovation, best practice, and inspirational developments in mental health. There will be four presentation categories – Adult Mental Health, CAMHS, Forensic Settings and Specialist Treatment Services. The abstracts and contact details of presenters will be published in the conference pack. Presentations are 20 minutes duration, which includes 5 minutes for questions. Poster presentations can also be submitted.

More details are available on the ‘Conference 2013′ page

Jan 292013

To mark National Eating Disorders Awareness week*, Bournemouth University (BU) is providing a series of lectures at the end of February open to staff, students and the wider community. Full details are below. Eating Disorders Awareness week has been organised and supported by the following organisations

  • Aimhigher with BU
  • Bournemouth University Students Union (SUBU)
  • Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Equality and Diversity Service
  • I*EAT
  • Psychology Group, School of Design, Engineering and Computing
  • University Department of Mental Health
Jan 292013

The programme of events is below – sessions are open to students, staff and public. Light refreshments will be provided. To register your attendance, please email:

Recognition of Eating Disorders
Monday 25 February 2013 12:00-13:30, Student Hall, Talbot House, Talbot Campus
Early recognition of eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and atypical versions of these is essential to ensure the best possible outcome. However, there are current problems with eating disorder recognition that makes providing effective early care difficult. This session will explore the common warning signs and symptoms of eating disorders and will detail the most up-to-date statistics and research on the issues as well as ideas for possible solutions. Attendees will also get advice on what to do if they believe someone they know (whether it’s themselves, a family member, a student or a patient) has an eating disorder.
Speakers: Dr Sarah Williams, Lecturer in Psychology, Bournemouth University and Dr Ciaran Newell, Consultant Nurse (Eating Disorders) and Associate Nurse Director, Kimmeridge Court Eating Disorder Service

Anorexia Nervosa and recovering; A Perilous journey?
Wednesday 27 February 2013 10:30-12:00, BG11, Bournemouth House, Lansdowne campus
‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes’ (Marcel Proust)
This talk will approach the topic of recovering from Anorexia Nervosa (AN) from the perspective of the individual with experience of the illness. Attendees will hear about how recovery can be perceived by those with AN and how these perspectives might impact on:
1. The recovery journey,
2. The relationships of individuals with the illness
3. The role of individuals with AN in recovery
4. How services facilitate the contribution of those with experience of AN in care delivery
Speaker: Dr Ciaran Newell, Consultant Nurse (Eating Disorders) and Associate Nurse Director, Kimmeridge Court Eating Disorder Service

The hunger games. Can you recover from Eating Disorders? Come and listen to two stories of complete recovery and hope.
Wednesday 27 February 2013 13:30-15:00, BG11, Bournemouth House, Lansdowne campus
Often people believe that full recovery from eating disorders is not possible. Come and listen to Jess Griffiths, Director of Charity I*EAT who will dispel the myth and talk about her experience of full recovery. She will also be interviewing Alice Jackson, who, recovered from her exercise addiction and received treatment and support for her eating disorder whilst studying at Bournemouth University.
Speakers: Jess Griffiths, Director of Charity I*EAT and Alice Jackson.

Eating Disorders and the Internet
Thursday 28 February 2013 12:00-13:00, Student Hall, Talbot House, Talbot Campus
The internet is fast becoming the most popular place for people to find information and advice about health conditions, and eating disorders are no exception. This talk will explore the different types of online resources for eating disorders including a critical evaluation of controversial pro-anorexia websites, exploration of the types of support offered online, the use of social media and the ways in which the internet can be utilised for offering treatment for eating disorders.
Speaker: Dr Sarah Williams, Lecturer in Psychology, Bournemouth University

A Carer’s perspective on Eating Disorders – an interview with a parent/carer
Friday 1 March 10:00-10:45, BG11, Bournemouth House, Lansdowne Campus
It can be very difficult for those who are caring for people suffering with eating disorders. Parents and carers can feel very misunderstood, guilty and powerless to change the situation. Jess Griffiths, Director of Charity I*EAT, will interview Debbie Field in this honest discussion about how it feels to be a mother caring for a daughter suffering with anorexia.
Speakers: Debbie Field and Jess Griffiths, Director of Charity I*EAT

Early Intervention for Eating Disorders at Bournemouth University – a good example of the statutory and voluntary services working together
Friday 1 March 12:00-13:00, BG11, Bournemouth House, Lansdowne Campus
Since 2006 there has been a project supporting students suffering with eating disorders within Bournemouth University. Micki Bennett RMN (a Clinical specialist nurse in Eating Disorders) runs a weekly clinic at Talbot Medical Centre for students displaying symptoms of Eating Disorders who present to the GPs at the student surgery. Micki Bennett and Jess Griffiths, Director of Charity I*EAT, explain how this project was set up and how social media and advertising helped in directing more students to gain support for their eating disorders.
Speakers: Micki Bennett, Specialist nurse, DorsetHealthcare and Jess Griffiths, Director of Charity I*EAT