Jo Brand lends her support to BIGSPD

The Complex Needs Service¹, provided by Oxford Heath NHS Foundation Trust, is hosting the annual British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorder (BIGSPD) annual conference, which starts today (March 23) and runs until Friday at Lady Margaret Hall.

Being held in Oxford for the first time, speakers at the BIGSPD conference will be setting out new research findings and clinical approaches to personality disorders (PD).

The conference has attracted international keynote speakers, including Professor Joel Paris (McGill University, Montreal); Professor Kate Davidson (University of Glasgow) and Dr Hanna Pickard (All Souls College, Oxford).

Dr Hanna Pickard, a philosopher of mind and psychiatry, and a therapist at the Complex Needs Service, will tomorrow (Thursday March 24) be challenging delegates to think differently. Her paper will focus on ‘responsibility not rescue; empathy not blame’.

Special Guest, Jo Brand, will be attending the conference on the last night. As well as bringing comic, light hearted entertainment to the conference, Jo will draw on her experience of being a psychiatric nurse. Most notably, before becoming a stand-up-comedian, Jo worked for the Maudsley Hospital in South London and has since contributed greatly to challenging stigma and discrimination in mental health.

What is personality disorder?

The term ‘personality disorder’ is used to describe the problematic ways of coping with everyday life and dealing with self, others and the world which result from the interplay between genetic and environmental factors and disrupted early development.

Personality disorder affects one in 20 of the population and can lead to severe problems in people’s work and personal life.  People with PD may present with a range of physical, mental health and social problems such as substance misuse, depression and suicide risk, housing problems and long-standing interpersonal problems. The general impact of PD on individuals, families and society is significant.

In the past it was thought that problems associated with personality disorder were untreatable. But evidence from a number of pilots and projects up and down the country has changed all that – therapeutic programmes are making real and lasting improvements to all those affected by PD.

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