Talking endings with children and young people

13th December 2016 By: Anastasia Bow-Bertrand

Last week, a group of physical and mental health professionals gathered at the Anna Freud National Centre to share practice across their respective health care settings.

The meeting, organised by the Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU) and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, was led by Professor Miranda Wolpert, Maggie Bisset and Dr Jonathan Martin. Discussions, role play and presentations all focused on the instruction, language, challenges and realisms of working with endings in mental health and palliative care settings aiming to maximise shared learning and expertise from the diverse group.

Professor Miranda Wolpert said:

“This rich day highlighted for me the shared dilemmas and emotional challenges to exploring endings in the context of further improvement being unlikely across physical and mental health. For me, the expertise of colleagues from palliative care helped enrich our discussions and the extensive experience and openness to sharing of all participants enabled us to come away with practical suggestions of how to address this in work going forward. ”

One participant said: “I will take away trying to look at the way conversations are had from the outside. I enjoyed the experiential elements of the day and learning from others. The tone of the way things were exchanged today was intimate, human and humane. These are human and humane issues which are usually avoided, and it felt courageous and daring to have these discussions.”

Tem and Fede of www.temjam.com returned for the day, and captured the illustration below from the discussions.undefined

The event provided the organisers with food for thought for future and more in-depth training events of this sort in 2017. Professor Wolpert said: "We are looking forward to developing a training programme based on this first pilot event which will be open to others to attend from next Spring."

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