Bermuda Invited to Mental Health Town Hall and Panel Discussion

“Whose Mental Health Is It Anyway? Bermuda Come and Have Your Say”

The Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) will present a community town hall and panel discussion on Wednesday 3 March at 6:00pm at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

“Whose Mental Health Is It Anyway? Bermuda Come and Have Your Say” will feature guest speaker and consumer advocate, Lars Olof Ljungberg, who will discuss how patients and their family members can play an active role in the services available to them.

Mr. Ljungberg is an expert on the development of a community movement for mental health services and has worked and consulted in many countries, as well as with the World Health Organization and the Global Initiative on Psychiatry.

In addition to giving a public presentation, Mr. Ljungberg has been providing in-service seminars to dozens of healthcare professionals at MWI over the past two weeks.

Patrice Dill, Chief Operating Office for MWI said: “We are delighted to have brought Mr. Ljungberg to Bermuda to share his expertise and skills in the field of psychiatric reform. Hospital staff and other medical professionals have greatly benefited from attending the series of lectures he has given. His discussions on recovery, psychosocial rehabilitation and consumer advocacy networks have come at just the right time as we move toward new models of care for mental health issues.”

Dr. Michael Radford, Chief of Psychiatry said: “Mr.Ljungberg will be speaking on Wednesday evening about the need for a consumer voice in the development of mental health services in Bermuda. His focus will be on patients playing a role in their own care and having a say in the delivery of mental health services. His expertise is in helping people find their voices.”

Consumer influence in the delivery of mental healthcare services reflects a growing trend toward community-based care over traditional hospital-based care.

“Mental health care delivered in the community minimises stigma and discrimination, improves outcomes and increases access to services,” adds Dr. Radford. “Giving patients a voice in the delivery of their care fits well with the model of community-based mental health services, especially because the vast majority of mental health problems can be treated outside of a hospital environment.”

Members of the public, as well as social workers, psychologists, counsellors and other healthcare professionals are encouraged to attend Wednesday’s public presentation at BUEI.

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