Our Wellbeing Conference: Good Mental Health Best Practices

Delegates at the packed Bridge 30th Anniversary Conference learned that there is a “very good window” to improve the nation’s mental health over the next five years.

Speaking to a packed audience at the charity’s birthday conference (23rd February) Dr Antonis Kousoulis of the Mental Health Foundation said the Government had recognised the need to radically improve mental health services in the UK.

“Good mental health is a state for an individual but it is an asset for society,” said Dr Antonis Kousoulis who leads cutting edge research at the Foundation.

“The Government has recognised this and hopefully it will translate into more money for much needed mental health services in the next few years.”

Bridge, which provides support to more than 1,000 people in the Greenwich area each year,hosted the conference a month after Prime Minister Theresa May announced a new initiative to “transform” mental health services.

The charity invited leading experts and campaigners, including the keynote speaker, author and campaigner Rachel Kelly, to share the latest thinking in mental health and wellbeing at the Bridge anniversary conference.

“The response from the everyone attending the conference has been incredible,” said Bridge Chief Executive Raymond Sheehy.

“One of the things we are trying to do at Bridge is to understand what works well in mental health and wellbeing. And I would like to thank all our excellent speakers and contributors who really added to everyone’s understanding and made the conference a success.”

The event at Devonport House, Greenwich brought together broadcaster, writer and mental health campaigner Rachel Kelly; TV director Peter Beard, who talked about his BAFTA winning Channel Four series Bedlam, based in South London & Maudsley NHS Psychiatric Hospital; and Steve Gilbert, a leading mental health campaigner who has personal experience of severe mental health problems.

Keynote speaker Rachel, a former Times journalist who has written three books about coping strategies after suffering serious depressive episodes in her thirties, said she is a “huge fan” of Bridge and the support it offers to people.

She said: “What I particularly like about Bridge follows onto my own feeling that people need strategies that they can begin to adopt themselves on the road to recovery.”

Bridge works in partnership with NHS trusts, local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and social enterprises to ensure their clients have the best chance of recovery. They assist those with mental health needs to gain more choice and independence in their lives. www.bridgesupport.org

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