EMBRACE and Enabling Town Slough at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Annual Forum

8th July 2022

Photo of EMBRACE and Enabling Town Slough at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Annual Forum

Staff members from EMBRACE and Enabling Town Slough were delighted to be invited to speak at the Community of Communities’ Annual Forum, run by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The conference took place in London at the headquarters of the Royal College on Weds 1st June, after being held online last year. Accordingly, the theme of the day was Transitions, both personal and professional, as Therapeutic Communities from across the nation (and beyond) came together to reflect and learn from each other’s experiences throughout and after lockdown.

Three of our staff members spoke on the day: Helen Stokes, Psychotherapist and EMBRACE Team Lead; Daria Georgievskaya, Transitions Clinic Lead; and Sam Cribb, Recovery and Co-Production Support Worker/Lived Experience Practitioner. The EMBRACE talk was focused on our community’s experiences of going online during the COVID-19 lockdowns, the practicalities of managing the leap, and the boundary issues that presented themselves both on Teams and when we eventually moved back to a face-to-face group.

We also took the chance to discuss some of the things that make EMBRACE and Enabling Town Slough unique. After a quick discussion of our theoretical model, we moved on to thinking about how we managed to maintain our ethos of co-production and strength-based working when the community moved online. Below you can see our slide on the key principles of co-production, and if you’re interested you can click here to learn more about our service philosophy.

With talks on the inclusion of service users, life after graduating from a Therapeutic Community, and managing internal racism in psychiatry, the conference proved to be an eclectic mix of knowledge and experiences from many different viewpoints, including some excellent talks from people with lived experience of using Mental Health services.

As an accredited Therapeutic Community, EMBRACE always enjoys meeting other Therapeutic Communities and learning from their diverse views and experiences, including colleagues up and down the country. As such, while it was great to share our way of working, the highlight of the day was hearing about the issues that other Therapeutic Communities have faced and sharing our learning together. Equally, if you would like to learn more about EMBRACE, please click here to see our dedicated service page. We know everyone has faced previously unimaginable transitions over the last two years, so we hope you have managed to navigate them smoothly!

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