Preventing Mental Illness: Past, Present and Future
2-3 June 2016
Ross Priory, University of Strathclyde
Much historical and contemporary thought about mental health and psychiatry has resolved around the concept of treatment. Both historians and the public have long been attracted to the myriad ways in which psychiatrists, employing everything from moral therapy and psychoanalysis to lobotomy and psychopharmacology, have attempted to treat the mentally ill. But this fascination overshadows another equally important and increasingly relevant theme in the history of mental health: prevention. Not only has the history of preventive psychiatry been an unappreciated aspect of the history of twentieth-century mental health history, but prevention has also attracted renewed attention in recent years, as rates of mental illness continue to escalate and as a host of parties have raised concerns about various forms of treatment.
Preventing Mental Illness: Past, Present and Future provides an opportunity for both historians and mental health practitioners to share both their insights about the history and current and state of preventive psychiatry, and their ambitions about how mental health policy and practice might be changed to become more preventive. The event will begin on the morning of the 2nd of June with a witness seminar featuring six psychiatrists who have engaged with the idea of preventive psychiatry from the 1960s onwards. The participants in the witness seminar will include:
Dr H. Gordon Clark, SelectPsych
Dr Tom Harrison, University of Birmingham
Professor Sir Robin Murray, Kings College London
Dr Michael Smith, Associate Lead Director, Mental Health Services, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Professor Eliot Sorel, George Washington University
Professor John Talbott, University of Maryland
Following the witness seminar and lunch, we will proceed with a history conference lasting until late afternoon on the 3rd of June, and featuring many leading mental health history experts. The conference will explore themes ranging from eugenics and spirituality to socioeconomic inequality and Freudianism, considering mental health and psychiatry in regions including the UK, North America, Japan and the former Yugoslavia.. Confirmed speakers include
Professor Elizabeth Danto, Dr Dennis Doyle, Professor Erika Dyck, Dr David Freis, Dr Matthew Gambino, Dr Chris Harding, Ms Erin Lux, Dr Sarah Marks, Dr Ed Ramsden, Dr Lucas Richert, Dr Mat Saveli, Professor Matthew Smith and Professor Eli Zaretsky.
Preventing Mental Illness: Past, Present and Future has been made possible due to the generous funding of the AHRC (Early Career Fellowship) and the Wellcome Trust (Small Award).