Our pilot conference was held at the beautiful dlr LexIcon Library in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin on Friday, 10th March 2017.
Our one-day programme of talks and workshops sought to explore productive interactions between literature and mental health both historically and in the present day. The conference aimed to identify the roles that writing and narrative can play in medical education, patient and self-care, and/or professional development schemes. Psychologists, psychiatrists, interdisciplinary professionals, GPs, service users, and historians of literature and medicine came together to ask questions about literature as a point of therapeutic engagement and to investigate methods to increase the well-being and communication skills of healthcare providers, patients and family members. The full programme of events is available here.
Our keynote speakers were Professor James V. Lucey (Trinity College Dublin), Professor Sally Shuttleworth (University of Oxford), and Professor Fergus Shanahan (University College Cork).
You can listen to the podcasts of their keynote addresses here.
The conference was well received as attendees found the experience beneficial in terms of the dialogue that was fostered between different disciplines and social groups, as well as its content on bibliotherapy, the use of literature in mental health services, and locating resources for clinical practice.
You can watch interviews with some of our attendees here: