Monthly archives "September"

3 Articles

Speaker Bio (4) – Interventions in Mental Health 8th/9th November

Presentation Title: Mental State & Risk Assessment

Speaker: Caroline Attard

Caroline Attard is currently the Director of Quality Improvement  working in Berkshire Health Foundation Trust in the UK.  Her career and expertise spans over 20 years working in her native country Malta and in the United Kingdom. She specialises in in-patient mental health nursing and Quality Improvement.  She has worked as an in-patient mental health Nurse Consultant which consisted of education, clinical leadership, research and service improvement. Caroline has taught on under and post graduate level mental health nursing programmes at various universities. She has also developed and facilitated various in-house training programmes on a variety of subjects, including suicide prevention, risk training and psycho social interventions.  She has developed a preceptorship programme for newly qualified mental health nurses which focuses on resilience and uses methods such as action learning sets and quality improvement methodology

Caroline has a passCaroline Attardion for working with carers and facilitates family work in her own Trust. She is involved in several research projects, from using sports with people who have severe and enduring mental health problems to CBT and sleep in in-patient mental health wards. Her expertise in service development has been utilised successfully in various areas on inpatient mental health wards and her adoption of quality improvement methodology has resulted in improvements in a variety of areas, including improving absence without leave from hospital, improving medication management, increasing post intervention reviews following rapid tranquilisation and improving monitoring of post rapid tranquilisation. Caroline is now leading a Quality Improvement programme across the whole organisation to implement a complete strategic transformational change for her trust. Her Quality Improvement achievements and support projects portfolio include more than 100 projects and span across the whole organisation. One of her most recent projects includes developing a care pathway for people with Emotional unstable personality disorder, whilst others include reducing falls, reducing violent and aggression, reducing self-harm and reducing the use of prone restraint.

Caroline has also contributed to several Research studies in the last few years and publications of both journals and books. Caroline is also the main editor of an International new book focusing on In-patient mental health in collaboration with Oxford University press which will be published in 2018.

For further details contact the MAPN on or call directly on 99825731.

Speaker Bio (3) – Interventions in Mental Health 8th/9th November

Ms Annette Robbins qualified as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist at Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre in 2005 and completed modules of the Advanced Cognitive Therapy programme, in Clinical Updates and CBT Supervision. She helped establish in Oxford a Structured Clinical Management Group, offering treatment to those with Borderline Personality Disorder, using a cognitive behavioral approach.Anette

She is a Mental Health Nurse with more than 30 years experience as an in-patient nurse and as a community psychiatric nurse in Oxford, U.K. In her role as a CPN, Annette collaborated extensively with Art, Drama and Occupational Therapists, running groups through various modalities such as psycho-dynamic, and training in psychodrama and more recently Transactional Analysis.

She currently works as a care co-ordinator in a community Adult Mental Health team in a semi-rural setting in Oxfordshire. She carries a large caseload of people with severe and enduring mental illness, triages and assesses new referrals and liaises with primary care and other agencies. She practices CBT in her work as a CPN and supervises colleagues in offering brief CBT interventions and utilising these skills for clients with mental health difficulties and enduring mental illness.

Her session entitled Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ will be delivered on Thursday 8th November

For further details contact the MAPN on or call directly on 99825731.

In the below links you can find the provisional programme and Registration Form.



Provisional Programme

Registration Form

Speaker Bio (2) – Interventions in Mental Health 8th/9th November

Dr Paulann Grech – B.Sc.(Hons)(Nurs.),M.Sc.(Psych.)(Cardiff),M.Sc.(Hlth.Sci.),Ph.D.(Sheff.)

During the past years, Dr.Grech has been working first as a practitioner within the state mental health services in Malta and then as a mental health lecturer with the University of Malta. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing followed by an M.Sc. She finished her PhD studies at the University of Sheffield in 2014 and completed a Masters programme in Psychiatry with Cardiff University. She teaches within programmes of studies leading to a degree and master’s in Mental Health and also supervises the dissertation process of undergraduate and postgraduate students. During the past years, she has been responsible for the co-ordination of mental health placements as well as the formation and maintenance of a number of international student/staff exchanges and research agreements. In 2015, she was one of the three mental health professionals who set up the Hearing Voices Network in Malta which is now an established NGO. Her areas of interest are related to critical psychiatry, service user involvement and complementary/alternative approaches to understanding and managing mental distress.Paulann pic

Title: This is our voice: an overview of the Hearing Voices Approach

This aim of this presentation is to explore the Hearing Voices Approach which is promoted by an international movement. The first Hearing Voices Network was founded in the Netherlands in 1987 by the Dutch psychiatrist Marius Romme, the science journalist, Sandra Escher and voice hearer, Patsy Hage. Since then, it has been established in more than 30 locations.

The international Hearing Voices Movement consists of the diverse groups that share some core values. These include: hearing voices, seeing visions and related phenomena, the most common being hearing voices. In this context, these experiences are viewed as meaningful and as having the potential to be understood in many ways. This helps to address the stigma and fear that is often related to hearing voices and similar experiences.

Coping with voices can cause great distress and individuals are often overwhelmed by their experiences.  The Hearing Voices Approach contests that the support offered should be based on respect, empathy, informed choice and an understanding of the personal meaning voices have in someone’s life.

This approach offers support through a number of ways. Primarily, information about ways of coping with voices is shared electronically, during activities and on a one-to-one basis. Importantly, this information is derived from and shared amongst voice hearers themselves who are at the leading front of the Hearing Voices movement. Additionally, Hearing Voices groups are set up in order to bring individuals with similar experiences together so that they are able to share information with each other – this often serves as a strong support method. Although initially these groups may be run by non-voice hearers, it is advisable to eventually empower the group members to facilitate the groups themselves.

During the past three years, a Hearing Voices Network has been established in Malta. The goal is to offer and promote self-help support for people who hear voices or have other unusual experiences, commonly described as a symptom of psychosis. An additional focus of the network is to raise awareness and provide education to health care professionals in relation to supporting individuals to cope with voices and similar experiences.

During the presentation, compassionate methods and tools that can be used in supporting those who experience voices and other unusual experiences shall be discussed. The ‘Maastricht Interview’ and the ’Voice-Dialogue Technique’ feature amongst these tools.  Although the Hearing Voices Approach is not intended to replace traditional methods of addressing voice hearing, it often serves as a useful adjunct in facilitating recovery. Thus its inclusion in the professional’s toolkit is important in order to enhance the quality of care on offer.