Feedback from afternoon sessions at London Quakers Mental Health Day 19/10/13

In the morning we had speakers GP Ian Walton, consultant psychiatrist, James Barrett, and artist and mental health activist Shirin Homann-Saadat.  Speaker biographies are at the end.


List of available local Mental Health services to be held by meeting

Period of worship sharing after meeting as can be easier for some to contribute (eg 40 minutes meeting; 20 minutes worship sharing)

Shared interview (or ‘goodness’) circles available

Empathic listening training – ‘meetings for listening’

Being available – ‘clique busting’ – make conversational groups (eg after meeting) open and welcoming

‘Take a striped mug if you want to be talked to’

Join in other initiatives eg prisoners unlocked (support prisoners for first 24 hours after release); Camphill movement

Talk from experience / heart

We need to set limits to protect ourselves (we are not professionals)

Respect ad safety in Quaker meetings

Schools to do more, and there are ways they can eg teach non mental health discrimination

Start a Quaker advocacy project

How does our meeting help everyone with their lives (and not just those who need help with their mental health)?



Speaker biographies


GP Ian Walton who works in Tipton, one of the most socially deprived boroughs in the country for over 25 years. He is a GP trainer.  Ian is mental health lead for the Black Country Cluster and Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group and IAPT lead for on one of the best performing IAPT sites, Sandwell, whose success is due to integrating Primary Care Mental Health through a wellbeing team and building a mental health strategy with an early intervention and community approach. Sandwell services hold a Visions Award and have been published as an NHS confederation best practice site and are a King’s Fund demonstrator site for integrated care. He is chair and course organiser for the Midlands Branch of the British Society of Medical and Dental Hypnosis.  (slides available)

James Barrett is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Lead Clinician at the West London Mental Health Trust.  He works at the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic in the UK, which is regarded as the primary centre in the UK for the treatment of transsexuals.


Shirin Homann-Saadat will give a patient's eye view.  A German-Iranian with an MA in Philosphy and Diploma in Architecture, she has experienced mental health issues, and used them to help her to re-focus her life & attitudes ... over the last 10 years she has lived a much calmer and happier life.  Her work as an artist can be seen at .

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