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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Distress or Disease?

Traumatic roots and treatment implications for black people within the UK mental health system

Saturday 3 October 2015

09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Dr Dele Olajide

Aetiology and Diagnosis: clinical and cultural considerations when assessing the African-Caribbean patient in psychiatry
Basing this presentation on his work as Consultant Psychiatrist in an acute male inpatient unit at the Psychosis Clinical Academic Group at the Maudsley Hospital, Dr Dele Olajide will discuss the process of diagnosis and assessment of African-Caribbean patients presenting with acute psychological symptoms. He will consider the importance of considering trauma and adverse life experiences in understanding the aetiology, and thus best treatment strategy for that person. He will set this discussion in the framework of strengths and weaknesses of current ethnic minority mental health policies in the NHS.
10.50   Dr Dawn Edge

Schizophrenia among African Caribbeans in the UK: a solution-focused approach
People of African/Black Caribbean origin in the UK are at significantly greater risk of diagnosis of schizophrenia and other psychoses compared with other ethnic groups. Arguments persist about aetiology, diagnostic practices and whether these findings reflect true levels of morbidity. Research also consistently reports inferior pathways to care, experience of mental health services and outcomes for people from this ethnic group compared with White British and other ethnic groups. Eschewing a deficits model and adopting a solutions-focused approach, this presentation will explore challenges and opportunities for working with African Caribbeans affected by psychoses to develop culturally-acceptable interventions.
11.40   Coffee
12.10   Dr Elaine Arnold

What has the dis-ease of African-Caribbean migrants contributed to their mental ill-health?
Psychiatrists reporting on the mental health of African- Caribbean migrants in the early 1960s found that the incidence of schizophrenia in hospital admissions was higher than that among white British patients. This sparked interesting debates on the issue of misdiagnosis and treatment. One influential psychiatrist in the debate has emphasised that what may be taken by medical professionals and social workers as 'unintelligible' and thus 'insane' may be seen - once understood - as a legitimate and coherent human responses to disadvantage and racism (Lipsedge, 1993). The interplay between adverse life experiences, traditional and intercultural mental health care will be explored.
13.00   Lunch
14.15   Q & A - Group Discussion
14:45   Amy Stoddard Ajayi

Cultural bias and the therapeutic exchange: exploring alternatives through the concept of 'collective responsibility'
This talk will discuss existing inequality in the therapeutic exchange. Firstly, we will examine the wider view of global mental healthcare, its historical influences and the presumptions made about who should be responsible for what. Secondly, the relationship between this wider world view and the attitudes and beliefs within mental health provision in the UK will be explored through touching on research that examines clinical responses to working with refugees and asylum seeking people. Lastly, the concept of 'collective responsibility' will be introduced as a means by which reciprocal learning can take place in order to re-balance inequalities in mental healthcare and develop more culturally appropriate services.
15.35   Tea
15:50   Dr Isha McKenzie-Mavinga

A dialogue about mental health, racism and traumatisation
This talk will address the challenges of facilitating a process of healing from the trauma of racism. Silence, taboo and institutional oppression have made this a stuck place. The question arises: What are we doing to halt the discourse of black people being over-represented in the mental health system? Dr Isha Mckenzie-Mavinga will focus on addressing the traumatic and enduring impact of racism on African and Caribbean lives. She will consider the multidimensional impact of racism and the lived experiences of users. She aims to provide greater insight about active engagement with a process of dialogue, culturally empathic responses and empowerment that encourages professionals to go there and transcend this often marginalised territory.
16:40   Discussion
17.00   End

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Early bird: £90 (SOLD OUT)
Self-funded: £108
Organisationally-funded: £180
CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6.5 hours will be provided at the event

8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL

09.30 Registration and coffee
11:40 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
15:35 Tea
17.00 End