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We wanted to stop by and share a project update. As a steering group, we have had a busy couple of months. We developed and disseminated our survey exploring expert by experience (EBE) involvement in the training of psychological professions. The survey is now closed but we want to say a big THANK YOU to all who helped us with completing the survey and sharing it with your networks. We have had a variety of responses from a range of psychological professions, which has helped us to consider the barriers to EBE involvement and some lovely examples of good practice. We are in the process of analysing the results and reviewing our aims and the phases of the project. We think it is really important that we make sure we are responding to what we have learned and so we are considering the next steps in our project plan which could help to build awareness of the benefits and breadth of EBE involvement in our professions. We will be updating the webpage and blogging about the project frequently, so please do access here for more information: Experts by Experience Involvement in Psychological Professions Training (nwppn.nhs.uk)
Last month, our steering group was invited to the IAPT Leadership and Innovation Forum 2022 to present to attendees on the benefits of the psychological workforce looking after themselves from the perspectives of service users. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Bev, Hilary and Alison who did a wonderful job of presenting by sharing their experiences, creativity and knowledge and to all the members of our steering group who contributed to the content. It offered us the opportunity to have some interesting and valuable discussions about the importance of wellbeing in systems. Alison has kindly written a piece to share her experience of presenting and attending the forum (below) and you can find a link to the presentation here: PPN (fsmevents.com)
“On the 3rd of March 2022 the ‘Building a Culture of Wellbeing in IAPT’ forum was held online, the theme so important to everyone involved on so many levels, personal and strategic. The psychological professions give so much to service users like myself, so being involved as part of the North West Expert by Experience group, I and my EBE colleagues were delighted to take up the baton for our session with the title – ‘Why do service users need the psychological professions to look after themselves and what can you learn from us?’. As a group, we were determined to utilise our lived experience, knowledge and perspectives to shape our presentation to share with our audience. This was also an amazing opportunity to showcase EBE involvement and what we are striving to achieve as a group in supporting the psychological professions. We recognise the impact that reduced wellbeing has for us as service users with our own mental/physical health challenges. My response to this dilemma was to share the knowledge given to me on my journey having experienced mental health distress, to mirror back to the professionals attending the forum the benefits of the strategies, tools and practices that I had been given. By the end of our session my EBE colleagues Bev, Hilary and Jodie had shared different facets, aspects and perspectives on wellbeing for the individual, the workplace and policy/ planning to acknowledge its importance, to encourage that adjustments are made to prevent burnout which occurs when the importance of wellbeing is side-lined and not held as being vital to support the individual, their roles and the workforce. The session closed with a poem on meditation to allow the audience a moment of mindfulness, a pause to consider our presentation. Jodie, Bev, Hilary and myself know that being proactive about your wellbeing in the psychological professions is absolutely essential so please if you can after reading this make time to take care of yourself”.