Picture of Dan Mushens

Dan Mushens

Impact and Evaluation Lead

Showcasing our work on alcohol related brain damage in Europe

The 10th European Conference on Mental Health (ECMH) took place in Lisbon, Portugal during 14th to 16th September following two years of the event taking place online. Penumbra Mental Health are no strangers to ECMH and have been represented at several previous conferences such as in Berlin in 2017 and Split in 2018.

This year, CEO Mike Burns and Impact and Evaluation Lead Dan Mushens were in attendance to deliver a workshop on the subject of the Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD) Self-Management Toolkit which Penumbra Mental Health launched in June 2021. The conference provided the opportunity to not only promote and showcase the ARBD Self-Management Toolkit but to also promote Penumbra as a pioneering mental health charity and to speak about IROC, HOPE and mental health recovery in general.

Networking and making new contacts also featured heavily and excellent discussion took place with many like-minded and inspiring people such as Frank Reilly from The Simon Community and Dr Chris Wagstaff from Birmingham University as well as many others.

Keynote speakers included Adam Christoferson and Jeremiah Brown from Musical Intervention, a US based community enterprise who strive to empower people and communities to use their creativity and self-expression to better their lives and others.

With the right support, kindness, and understanding, it is entirely possible for people living with ARBD to have a happy and fulfilling life

Discussion and laughs were also shared with delegates from GGZ, a social care provider based in Alkmaar in the Netherlands, while Professor Raymond Bond from Ulster University spoke with passion, insight and enthusiasm about ChatPal, an artificial intelligence led, multilingual service designed to provide appropriate mental health and wellbeing support when requested.

Current partnerships were also reinforced and discussions were had with colleagues from the EEEFC project, an EU funded collaboration Penumbra are part of to help build a network of professionals, experts by experience, academics and people affected by mental health and substance use issues as a way of building community capacity to respond to these issues.

Next year, the 2023 and 11th ECMH will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia where more inspirational minds will come together to discuss all things mental health related.

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