Posted on: 04 Oct 2019

SERVICE ACHIEVEMENTS: Fulfilling Lives - Nua Healthcare's Annual Conference 2019

Fulfilling Lives - Nua Healthcare's Annual Conference 2019

Nua Healthcare was proud to host their 2019 Annual Conference at the Killashee House Hotel in Kildare recently. The theme of the conference this year was; ‘Fulfilling Lives’ with a focus around both mental health and intellectual disabilities.

Attendees had the chance to network first thing at registration before taking their seats in the conference room to hear opening remarks by Nua’s former Chief Executive Officer, Chris Hindle.

Following opening remarks, the first speaker of the day was Niamh O’ Brien (Lecturer & Researcher at UCC) who commenced with her presentation entitled “Measurements Instruments and Pilot Outcomes Report for Co – Production” which was a piece of research undertaken by Niamh herself, Dr. Martin Lawlor (RIP), Dr. Wesley O’ Brien (UCC) in conjunction with Nua Healthcare Service Users. The aims of the research were:

  • To complete a comprehensive evaluation and review of management instruments – striving towards evidence-based codes of practice underpinned by best practice
  • To foster an inclusive culture that supports recovery-based learning and practice
  • To promote a recovery-based focus through co-production in mental health evaluation and the intervention services
  • To underpin the strategy set out by the national policy – “A Vision For Change” (2006) and the further developed in the four recovery principals of the National Framework for Recovery in Mental Health (2018 – 2020)

The second speaker of the morning was Liz O’ Neill (Nua’s Director of Training & Development) who presented on “A Journey of Life”. The talk considered what the journey of life looks like irrespective of whether we have a disability or support need. Liz examined the following areas with regards to living with a disability:

  • Culture that promotes and protects the rights and dignity
  • Social Inclusion
  • Integration
  • Person Centred Care and Support
  • Legislation / Regulations

Liz was joined by Francis (an Expert By Experience) who shared an account of his life as well as details of his time receiving services from Nua. As well Francis, Liz presented 2 video links of other Experts By Experience from Nua’s ID Services. Filmed earlier in the week, one of our Experts Aisling gave her account of her personal journey. Others (Derek, James, Patrick and Stephanie) spoke in a panel discussion with Liz around their personal journeys, interests, achievements, hopes, dreams and aspirations.

After a break and some time to network, our conference re-commenced with our third speaker of the day - Dr. Wasz, Consultant Psychotherapist and member of Nua’s Clinical team.  Dr. Wasz presented an engaging piece focussing on Compassion Focussed Therapies (CFT).  CFT was noted to have been developed to help those with mental health issues and has a base in evolutionary psychology. Whilst teaching practical skills, it helps to bring balance into the brain’s three main emotional systems.

Our final speaker of the day was this year’s keynote guest speaker - international personality, mental health speaker and former New Zealand All Black Brent Pope. Brent delivered an extraordinary talk around his own personal journey with mental health titled “Living and Prospering with a life of Mental Health Issues”.

Brent had the attention of the entire room as he told his personal story, a very difficult and emotional story to tell but nonetheless, an extremely riveting and engaging story with valuable lessons to take away on how to deal with mental health issues in life.

After Brent finished his talk, Chris made his closing remarks and ended the half day conference remarking that it had been a very successful Annual Conference for 2019.