Classic Blog: ‘Learning Leadership: How to become a leader in the NHS’ by Professor Aidan Halligan

I’m watching again the excellent BBC TV series from the 1990s, Cardiac Arrest, and it reminded me of this film clip. Time to put it up again.

‘Aidan Halligan, Professor of Foetal and Maternal Medicine and Director of Education at UCL reflects on his experiences of being a leader in the NHS. He shares the stories of people he respects as leaders, and analyses the key features that make them so effective.

Leadership is “… going into the unknown with courage. People respect courage and they respect compassion.”

“We know when we see a leader. They inspire us and when we’re inspired we become determined. And when we are determined we go further. That’s what leadership is about… And it’s your example that counts, not your rank. And if you care about patients to the point of being selfless, people will always respect that.”

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‘A Tuesday With Bob’ by Deron Drumm

ddrummI cannot emphasise enough how important grassroots activism is for creating change in the mental health and addiction fields. A clear example of a successful movement is Mad In America, started by Robert Whitaker after publishing his book of the same name.

Here’s a thoughtful and passionate blog which illustrates just how much this movement means to people on the ground.

‘Robert Whitaker’s books and website have changed my life in profound ways. Nearly two years ago, thanks to the generosity of Dorothy Dundas, I was able to have dinner with Bob and several activists.

I sat next to Bob for two hours and was only able to summon the courage to say the deeply philosophical words, “I liked your book.” It was a long ride home to Connecticut that night with that phrase repeating in my head and the knowledge that I had lost an opportunity to tell someone how they had changed my life.

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‘Experiencing Recovery – Part 10′ by William L. White: Recovery Paradigm and Addiction Treatment

The last part of Bill White’s 2012 Norman E. Zinberg Memorial Lecture from Harvard. Bill says he is not a teacher of these issues about recovery, but still a student. He encourages us all to be students of this rapidly changing ecology of recovery in the US. Bill also looks at what we need to do in the future in relation to recovery and recovery-based care.

‘Experiencing Recovery – Part 8′ by William L. White: History of Recovery Support

Bill introduces about the various types of recovery support that have existed historically: natural support, limited generalist support within the community, peer recovery (mutual aid) and treatment. He then goes on to describe how things have been changing in recent years.

‘Experiencing Recovery – Part 7′ by William L. White: Family Recovery

Bill briefly describes how many families fall apart during the early stages of recovery and points out that as a society we do very little about this. Stephanie Brown describes this effect on family as the trauma of recovery.

‘Experiencing Recovery – Part 6′ by William L. White: Recovery Durability Set Point

When does recovery become durable? When does sobriety today predict sobriety for a lifetime? When does my risk of resuming alcohol and drug use and having a recurrence of a substance use disorder plummet?

Ernie Kurtz: A Reverence for History

In this short interview Ernie Kurtz, renowned A.A. Historian and author of Not-God: A History of Alcoholics Anonymous, discusses his thoughts about the topic of history in general, and reveals some fascinating insights into A.A.’s history in particular.

The video was shown for the first time as the keynote address at the inaugural A.A. History Conference held February 21 — 23 in Sedona, Arizona.

‘Experiencing Recovery – Part 4′ by William L. White: Frameworks of Recovery

In this part of his talk, Bill White discusses the degrees/depths of recovery. He describes how some better people feel ‘better than well’ after recovery.

He goes on to describe different types of recovery initiation/maintenance framework and different styles of recovery.

‘Part 4 of Psychiatric Epidemic: Children & ADHD’ by Robert Whitaker

Here is Part 4 of Robert Whitaker’s May 14 talk in Denmark. Here is Part 1 and Part 2, but I don’t think Part 3 is up yet.

‘Here, Robert Whitaker looks at the research that specifically deals with Children — especially ADHD but also so-called Bipolar Disorder. The evidence is clear: the ethics behind the use of these toxic medications on children is highly questionable.’

‘Prescribing Influences in Mental Health’ by Heather Ashton

Talk given at the Adverse Psychiatric Side Effects Conference, April, 2008.

‘C Heather ASHTON DM FRCP, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Newcastle University, worked in the drug and poisons information unit at Newcastle Royal Infirmary for 15 years. An expert on the effects of prescription drugs on the mind.

Professor Ashton’s manual for benzodiazepine withdrawal is available worldwide at no financial benefit for the author but of great emotional and personal benefit to many thousands of people who have accessed this detailed manual. The manual is available on benzo.org.uk and many other web sites.

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Psychiatric Epidemic (Part 1): The Roots – Robert Whitaker

The Psychiatric Epidemic – does long-term use of medication decrease the chance of recovery?

PsykoVision in Denmark has recently translated and published Robert Whitaker’s book, “Anatomy of an Epidemic”. In honor of this, PsykoVison has invited Whitaker to speak at a small conference in Copenhagen.

This is Part 1: The Roots of the Epidemic, where Robert Whitaker guides us through the history of psychiatric medication and presents the scientific evidence that proves that the common wisdom about theses drugs is mostly based on falsehoods.

Vikram Patel: Mental health for all by involving all

Nearly 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide. In wealthy nations, just half receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90 percent go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply.

Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach – training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others.

‘No One Can Take Mindfulness Away from You’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn

‘Bestselling author and teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn talks about what mindfulness means to him personally, and argues that the United States is an “underdeveloped” country when it comes to compassion and attention.’

This clip is from the Greater Good website. You can watch the full talk by becoming a member.

‘Learning Leadership: How to become a leader in the NHS’ by Professor Aidan Halligan

Aidan Halligan, Professor of Foetal and Maternal Medicine and Director of Education at UCL reflects on his experiences of being a leader in the NHS. He shares the stories of people he respects as leaders, and analyses the key features that make them so effective.

Leadership is “… going into the unknown with courage. People respect courage and they respect compassion.”

“We know when we see a leader. They inspire us and when we’re inspired we become determined. And when we are determined we go further. That’s what leadership is about… And it’s your example that counts, not your rank. And if you care about patients to the point of being selfless, people will always respect that.”

Read More ➔

Mark Gilman: Positive social networks and recovering from addiction

‘No one can do it for you and you can’t do it alone’, get on the boat, any boat, and talk about the technique / route later and don’t do it on your own!’

Early In June, I blogged about what Bill White refers to as a recovery carrier. ‘Recovery carriers are people, usually in recovery, who make recovery infectious to those around them by their openness about their recovery experiences, their quality of life and character, and the compassion for and service to people still suffering from alcohol and other drug problems.’

Well, many people in the UK will know Mark Gilman as a recovery carrier par excellence. Mark has been advocating for recovery for  number of years now and has almost certainly visited more recovery communities and initiatives than anyone in the UK. He is one of the funniest people you will ever hear talk about recovery. Mark also shows that you don’t need to be in recovery to be a great advocate.

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Do’s and Don’ts for Friends of Bereaved Parents

The J.O.S.H. Foundation have compiled a list of things to do (or not do) for people who have friends who have lost a child. This is an excellent slideshow, well-worth taking note of and circulating.

If you have not read them, please also spend some time reading Ian and Irene’s and Sue’s Stories of loss and recovery. 

‘Helping Populations Progress Through Stages of Change': Talk by James O. Prochaska

I was thrilled to find this video on YouTube, a talk by one of the psychology greats, James Prochaska.

‘A scientific revolution is occurring in the field of behavior change. This revolution involves a shift from an action paradigm to a stage paradigm in which changing troubled behavior involves progressing through six stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination.

Previously almost all research and treatment programs were action-oriented but less than 20% of people with such behaviors are prepared to take action. Action-oriented programs resulted in relatively low participation rates, high dropout rates and small impacts on populations with unhealthy behaviors.

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Recovery Vision: New paradigm, new questions, new answers

I’ve just watched this wonderful talk (from 2001) by Bill Anthony, one of the pioneers in recovery-based care in mental health. [Bill starts his talk at 25’20” into the video]

Bill describes a metaphor for explaining a paradigm shift, such as the paradigm shift to recovery-based care in mental health.

This metaphor is that mankind once thought the world was flat. This understanding led to certain questions such as, “How far do I sail before I fall off the end of the earth?” Once mankind learnt the world was round, these questions were redundant. We asked different questions.

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‘Sharing our Experience, Strength and Hope, With our Friends Across the Pond’ by Phil and Sandy Valentine

phil-valentineI was looking through my blogs on Wired In To Recovery and came across one focusing on Phil and Sandy Valentine’s trip to the UK in late 2011. Thought I’d provide a link to the original source material on the CCAR website, an interview of this lovely couple by Bill White.

There are a lot of interesting points in this interview, but here are just a few as a taster.

Phil Valentine: Where recovery is concerned, anonymity and stigma still reign. People in recovery have worked in the treatment system for years, and their colleagues and co-workers (never mind the “service users”) don’t know they are in recovery. Personal recovery seems to be a taboo subject. And countrywide denial, particularly with alcoholism, prevails.

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Pat Deegan film clips

Pat is a leading mental health recovery advocate, as well as psychologist and researcher [4 clips]

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