The College REFOCUS group, now in its 12th year, continues to evolve and strengthen its remit of bringing a lived experience perspective to all College objectives, business and activities. Such is the demand for REFOCUS members, and the work they carry out, that additional people are needed for the group and we are currently recruiting for patient/service users, family members/carers and psychiatrist members.
Spring Conference 2022
For the College Spring conference 2022, REFOCUS planned and presented a main plenary session titled “Keeping the Body in Mind: Members of CPsychI REFOCUS (Recovery Experience Forum of Carers and Users of Services), Psychiatry, General Practitioner and Endocrinology come together to discuss shared care and physical health in mental illness”
This interactive and engaging session weaved together lived and professional experiences of the management of physical health in people with mental illness. One in four of us will experience mental illness in our lifetimes, and as such, it was hoped that this session would be of interest to anyone living with, managing or indeed treating mental illness.
The three part session featured contributions from an experienced General Practitioner who is also a caregiver for a daughter with schizophrenia; discussion with three members of the CPsychI REFOCUS group; and a further teaching session on shared care and the management of diabetes by Consultant Endocrinologist who has a special interest in mental illness.
Read a breakdown of the three parts of this session below.
Part 1: Dr David Shiers in conversation with Dr Caragh Behan – “A conversation with a demanding caregiver; the role of advocacy in challenging the health inequalities experienced by people with severe mental illness”.
Part 2: REFOCUS members Mr. Brian McNulty, Mr. George Bridges and one other, in conversation with Dr Mia McLoughlin – “A conversation on the challenges and barriers to good physical health and living well with mental illness; and the impact that communication, integration of services and personal empowerment have when managing physical health co-morbidities and side-effects of medication”
Part 3: Dr David Hopkins, Endocrinologist and Diabetes Specialist, King’s Hospital , London “Modern treatment of and models of care for Diabetes, Mental Illness and associated health inequalities”
In a positive and long-hoped for development, the College Council officially accepted the Non-psychiatrist joint chair of REFOCUS as voting member of Council and thereafter, Brian McNulty attended his first meeting of same, in Feb 2022.
Ongoing plans to create and film a suite of video aimed at information for Psychiatrists, on the topics of ‘Psychiatric Diagnosis’ and ‘Family Dynamics’, will be progressed in Summer 2022.