NWRC promotes positive mental health of older people

_Mental Health Conf: Anne McDaid, Team Leader, Community Mental Health Team for Older People, WHSCT, Liz Mitchell, Lecturer of Nursing, UU, Aidan Gordon, Assistant Director WHSCT, Mervyn Eastmen, Co-Director Change Agents Co-Operative, Eleanor Keanie and Susan McGrory, Lecturers from NWRC, and Patricia Donald, Age Sector Platform.

_Mental Health Conf: Anne McDaid, Team Leader, Community Mental Health Team for Older People, WHSCT, Liz Mitchell, Lecturer of Nursing, UU, Aidan Gordon, Assistant Director WHSCT, Mervyn Eastmen, Co-Director Change Agents Co-Operative, Eleanor Keanie and Susan McGrory, Lecturers from NWRC, and Patricia Donald, Age Sector Platform.

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An innovative one-day conference aimed at promoting the positive mental health and well-being of older people was held recently by North West Regional College.

Hosted in the City Hotel Derry, the conference featured a range of presentations from key speakers currently employed in the sector, as well as a number of interactive workshops which were aimed at sharing best practice and development through a series of break-out sessions.

The keynote speakers at the event included Liz Mitchell, from University of Ulster, who tackled the issues and implications of person centred care. Patricia Donald, Chairperson, Age Sector Platform, then debated her topic, Adding Years to Life Not Life to Years. Mervyn Eastman, from Change AGEnts Network UK, and President of the Practitioner Alliance For Safeguarding Adults, discussed how to improve outcomes of safeguarding practice. Next up was Barry McGale; Suicide Liaison Officer WHSCT, who explored issues of suicide within the older people sector, and finally Aidan Gordon from WHSCT, who provided an overview of the challenges which the Sector faces moving forward.

The break-out and workshop sessions were co-ordinated by Angelina Cooper and Deirdre Doherty, under the area of Reminiscence Therapy and Active Living in Later Years, Anne McDaid, Promoting Positive Wellbeing in the Community, and Michael McIvor, Dementia and The Carer’s Perspective.

A spokesperson for North West Regional College commented on the success of this conference, and indicated possibilities for similar events in the future:

“This event served to enhanced the knowledge and understanding regarding the issues and implications of maintaining and ensuring high quality care is provided for Older People in our society. Over the coming years, our College, in partnership with Connected and the University of Ulster, will aim to undertake a variety of workshops in the areas of Mental Health and Wellbeing so that the focus to support individuals in this area remains strong.”

North West Regional College provides a variety of educational and training needs to the Sector to support and maintain high quality care for Older People. It provides workshops and short courses in areas such as Protection of Vulnerable Adults, Dementia Awareness/Care, Staff Supervision/Appraisal, Mental Health of Older People, Depression/Anxiety in Older People, End of Life Care, Understanding Substance Misuse, Use of Assistive Technology, Care Planning and Record keeping. For further details on the training and support which can be made available, tel 028 7127 6164

This Conference was funded by Connected, and supported by the University of Ulster