Medicating Human Distress: Concerns, Critiques and Solutions is a two-day conference organised by the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork and the Critical Voices Network Ireland, 16 and 17 November 2011.

The conference will address and consider:

  • the use of medication as the dominant response to distress in mental health care
  • medication withdrawal concerns, strategies and solutions
  • creative and enabling non-medicated ways of working

This free two-day conference provides people from diverse backgrounds (self-experience, survivors, professionals, academics, carers) to present, discuss and debate critical and creative perspectives on and beyond the dominant bio-medical approach. Last year’s conference saw the launch of the Critical Voices Network Ireland (CVNI), a network of people interested in considering and developing responses to human distress, which are creative, enabling, respectful and grounded in human rights. The conference will include an open forum to discuss the on-going work of the CVNI.

Keynote Speakers (in alphabetical order): Kate Crawford (Voice hearer, service survivor, group facilitator and trainer National Paranoia Network & Hearing Voices Network, England), Anna Emmanouelidou (Clinical Psychologist, Hellenic Mental Health and Research Centre, Greek Observatory for human rights in the mental health field, Greece), Peter Lehmann (Publisher, social scientist, survivor of psychiatry, author of Coming off psychiatric drugs and Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry, Germany), Terry Lynch (Medical doctor and psychotherapist, author of Selfhood and Beyond Prozac, Ireland), Sami Timimi (Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, founder of the International Critical Psychiatry Network and of the ‘No More Psychiatric Labels’ Campaign, author of A Straight-talking Introduction to Children’s Mental Health Problems, England), Rachel Waddingham (Voice hearer, London Hearing Voices Project Manager, English Hearing Voices Network trustee, member of Intervoice’s International Research Committee, England)

Workshop Presenters (in alphabetical order): Gerardine Boyle, Patrice Campion, Kate Crawford (England), Michelle Dalton, Pauline Dolan, Susanne Engelen (Netherlands), Donna English, Harry Gijbels, Maria Gillen, Joan Hamilton, Raphaella Heaslip, Anita Hegarty, Kay Inckle, Yasmin Khan, Peter Lehmann (Germany), Angie Lindenau, Marry Maddock, Liam Minogue, Benny McCabe, John McCarthy, Fiona Morrissey, Jacquie Nicholson (Scotland), Kevin O’Shanahan, Rudie Pamer, Nicki Power, Shula Ramon (England), Doug Ross, Lydia Sapouna, Irene van de Giessen (Netherlands), Rachel Waddingham (England), Valerie Walsh, Alastair Yarrow.
Registration by emailing Please make sure you give your name, and indicate the day(s) you wish to attend (either Wednesday 16 November, Thursday 17 November, or both days).

Dates: 16 and 17 November 2011
Time: 9.00 – 17.00
Registration: Wednesday 16 November from 9.15 – 10.00 am and Thursday 17 November from 8.15 – 9.00 am
Venue: Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland.

Programme details will be on and within next few weeks. To get to Brookfield (UCC) check and lunches not included. There are restaurants and cafes in and around the conference venue.
The conference organisers are Harry Gijbels, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, and Lydia Sapouna, School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland.


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