I felt honoured to have been at The Royal College of Nursing Foundation's Inaugural Lecture tonight. Baroness Sheila Hollins, Professor of Psychiatry of Disability at St George's University, has a new, massive fan as of tonight. It's not often I say that I love someone I've never even spoken to but I feel that I heart her. Speaking about promoting the development of empathy for vulnerable groups, showing how her Beyond Words (pictures!) approach can enhance clinical communication, she talked about how it's not always about the medical model. Yes; clinical prescribing should be part of the toolkit, but not its entirety. She developed picture books that help explain difficult and potentially overwhelming situations to people whose capacity for words may not be so great, and conveyed something I wholeheartedly agree with; that if we can get that communication right with vulnerable groups, then it will most certainly work with the rest of society, rather than a model which is seemingly currently modelled on the reverse of that. Nice one, Baroness 👌🏽. A picture might support someone to make a decision; when a patient holds the book in their own hands, they feel more in control of the situation than when the clinician holds the book, and is therefore allowed to drive the agenda themselves, allowing the situation to end in a much different (and most likely more efficient and successful) place. This simple yet revolutionary piece of knowledge is one of the key areas I'm talking about.
I was there because of my thirst to learn more about mental health but my background in visual communication and storytelling has made me think so much more about the whole thing. .
#mentalhealth #disability #picturebooks #therapy #advocacy #empathy #discussion #vulnerable #nursing #care #kindness #kindnessmatters #bipolar #schizophrenia #adhd #intervention #art #arttherapy