A new way of thinking about mental health

Friday 28th April 2023 at Hilton Reykjavík Nordica

8:30 Registration and coffee

9:00 Moderator opens – Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir

9:05 Formal opening – Sigríður Gísladóttir Chairman of the board of Geðhjálp

9:15 Dr. James Davies

The Sedations of Nations: The underlying reasons why our mental health systems are failing

In this presentation, Dr. James Davies calls for major social and economic reform to tackle the crisis in poor mental health outcomes, revealing the political, corporate and economic motives behind the promotion of the medical model, which depoliticises, individualises, commodifies and pathologises our emotional distress – a model, while handsomely serving neoliberal aims and objectives, has presided over decades of worsening clinical outcomes. 

10:15 Break

10:30 Magnus Hald

How and why the medicine free unit was developed within the Norwegian health care system

Experiences from running a drug-free treatment program for people with psychotic disorders in Tromso, Norway. I will describe how the treatment unit was developed within the Norwegian health care system; the context for this development, why drug free treatment, the mandate for the establishment, organizing principles, the medication-free program, and what have we achieved.

11:20 User input – Video

11:25 Andrew Scull

Psychiatry and its discontents

An examination of American psychiatry from its origins to the present, looking at the rise of the asylum era, the growth of degeneration theory and its consequences, the period of uncontrolled therapeutic experimentation that marked the period from 1915 to the mid fifties, the psychopharmacological “revolution” and its limitations, the collapse of the asylum system and the failure of the much trumpeted genetic and neuroscientific programs to yield anything of clinical relevance.

12:25 User input – Video

12:30 Oversight from Workshops

Ann Mari Lofthus and Nína Eck

13:00 Lunch and networking

14:00 User input – Video

14:05 Lisa Archibald, Chris Hansen and Amanda Francis

Intentional Peer Support: A relational approach

Intentional Peer Support provides a powerful framework for creating relationships where both people learn and grow together. We offer a range of trainings to examine and practice what is necessary to build mutual support. IPS is used across the world in community, peer support, and human services settings, and is a tool for community development with broad appeal to people from all walks of life.

15:05 User input – video

15:10 Robert Whitaker

The case for a radical paradigm shift in the psychiatric care

In 1980, when the American Psychiatric Association published the third edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, it adopted a “disease” model for categorizing and treating mental disorders. That model was then promoted around the world. Today, the results from that model are in. The model has proven to be scientifically bankrupt and it has produced a public health disaster. We need a new narrative to govern psychiatric care, and a review of the past provides a key for creating that future: Think of those who suffer as “brethren,” and humanistic care that has been shown to help people get well will follow.

16:00 Closure – Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister of Social Affairs and the Labour Market

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