Sunday, 1 July 2018

#NHS70 & more

The Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change
Just what is the Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change? Well for those of you with a keen eye, you may have picked up on an event I facilitated at the Manchester School of Art last week, with guest speaker and Chief Officer of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Jon Rouse. This marks the start of Arts for Health’s evolution into the Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change, which over the next six months will emerge as a new collective of people and organisations driven by a motivation to understand and address the factors that underpin inequalities. More than that - it’s about doing things differently. These are exciting times and a full picture of our aspirations and direction will be published on a new stand-alone website over the next two months. Thank you to everyone who came, for your commitment and vision.

So - it’s the NHS 70th anniversary - and here are a few delicious treats for you.

A Fortunate Man
Next Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd July, New Perspectives theatre company will be performing a new work based on the sublime and important book, A Fortunate Man by John Berger and Jean Mohr. I used this work as a stimulus to my exploration of the artist Vic McEwan’s residency at Alder Hey, to which there will be a brand new online resource later this month. To me, Berger’s work articulates some of the thoughts I attempt to corral in Critical Care, not least that we mustn't privilege understanding of the potency of the arts through the narrow and often pseudo-scientific lens of bio-medical science, particularly when work isn’t focused on clinical outcomes, but on the rather more richly textured and subtle languages of lived experience - and the arts themselves.

I’ve not seen this New Perspectives adaptation of the work yet, but I’m going along on Tuesday afternoon and can’t wait. The performances will be taking place at the Main Lecture Theatre in the Postgrad Centre at Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, down Oxford Road. Thanks to LIME Arts for enabling this to happen. Full details right below.



by John Berger and Jean Mohr
a stage exploration by Michael Pinchbeck

Fifty years ago, writer John Berger and photographer Jean Mohr followed the working life of a country doctor, for what went on to become one of the most important books about medical practice. Today, New Perspectives collaborates with theatre-maker Michael Pinchbeck to explore and expand on this fascinating work, setting it against verbatim interviews with doctors today. This striking mixed media performance takes the pulse of GP practice then and now, continuing the conversation in the 70th year of the NHS.

  Main Lecture Theatre
  Postgrad Centre
  Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL

One final thing - this is a PAY WHAT YOU DECIDE performance and attenders are encouraged to make a donation as they leave. There are numerous performances of this one hour work over the two days. Book online HERE. 

'It's nothing like a broken leg':
why I'm done with the mental health conversation

For a really personal and timely exploration of the lived experience of mental distress that doesn’t mess around with euphemism and platitudes, I recommend this article by my namesake, Hannah Jane Parkinson. Superb and perfectly written. Here’s a small extract.

“In the last few years I have observed a transformation in the way we talk about mental health, watched as depression and anxiety went from unspoken things to ubiquitous hashtags. It seems as though every week is now some kind of Mental Health Awareness Week, in which we should wear a specific colour (although this year no one could agree on which: half wore green, half yellow). In the last few years I have lost count of the times mental illness has been compared to a broken leg. Mental illness is nothing like a broken leg.” Read more by Hannah Jane Parkinson by clicking on the rather fetching image below.

Section 136 – partners and places needed

“What constitutes public display of mental illness which can harm people or those around them? Consumerism? No. Sexist ads making you feel inadequate? No. Compassion fatigue? No. Casual racism? No. Discrimination towards disabled people? No.” 
Find out more about what Dolly Sen* is attempting to explore by clicking HERE, or on the image below, or by emailing Dolly HERE.

*As a child, Dolly Sen was an alien in Empire Strikes Back. She knew then she would never know normal life. Her journey as an artist has taken her up a tree in Regents Park, to California’s Death Row, to the Barbican, Tower Bridge and the Royal Academy, Trafalgar Square, and up a ladder to screw a lightbulb into the sky, using words, art, film and performance. She is interested in non-consensual reality, outsidership, empathy, authenticity and absurdity. She has been labeled ‘mad’ by society. Her work aims to show she makes perfect sense. Basically, reality is a cheeky bastard, and she is putting him over her lap and slapping his naughty arse.”

Singing in the City is back. We are celebrating the NHS 70, join us!

Sunday 8 July 2018, 11am-4.30pm. Free, drop in, no need to book
the Whitworth Gallery will be filled with choirs and a free singing extravaganza to celebrate the NHS's 70th anniversary, in the city where the first National Health Service (NHS) hospital opened its doors. Want to know more? Click on the image below.

The Culture Capital Exchange
 (TCCE)... delighted to announce its summer symposium: Refresh, Reboot, Retool: new imaginaries for challenging times. Bringing together academics, artists, creatives, policy-makers and people from other sectors, Refresh Reboot, Retool: new imaginaries for challenging times sets out to create a space in which to encourage, debate, conversation, play, knowledge exchange and co-creation about some of our most important contemporary challenges including: politics, diversity, identity, place and environment.

 Click HERE.

Two new positions at ARC ARC are are seeking team members!
Arc is a creative arts organisation based in Stockport, UK, specialising in workshops, wellbeing and community development. We work in and around Stockport and the North West from our base at Arc Centre and Gallery. They are looking to recruit an Engagement Officer and a Finance Officer. Closing date is 15th July. Details are HERE.

42nd Street - job opportunities

New Opportunities to Join the 42nd Street Team

42nd Street’s Mission is:

To support young people aged 11-25 years with their emotional well-being and mental health, promoting choice and creativity. We champion young person centred approaches that demonstrate local impact and have national significance.
Counselling & Therapy – 1 full time role available
Community Mental Health – 2 full time roles available

Deadline is Monday 16th July at 10am, full details HERE.

NHS70 event - The Changing Face of Mental Health
This year the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, and the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care at Manchester Met will be commemorating this important milestone with a special one-off panel event on Wednesday 4th July, 4pm-6pm.

‘Celebrating 70 years of the NHS: The Changing Face of Mental Health’ will be hosted by our new Mental Health Professor, Joy Duxbury and will discuss the changing face of mental health, exploring revolution over the past 70 years and our panel's predictions for the future.

Panel members include:
Professor Joy Duxbury – Professor of Mental Health Nursing 
Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan – Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust
Malcom Rae – Sate of Mind
Rita Long – a Service User
Dr Alina Haines – Digital Apps

“The importance of finding new ways of working in these areas and the field of mental health more broadly, are required, particularly given hard to reach groups such as those in the criminal justice system for example.  Innovation including technology, participatory approaches and interdisciplinary working are integral to making a difference to people’s lives.” More details and booking HERE. 

A couple of conferences
Exciting to see that Dr Daisy Fancourt is keynote speaker at the almost Old Testament sounding NOAH conference in Texas, where she'll be in good company amongst some long-standing arts and health folk, ’reimagining the future of arts & health.’ Check the conference details HERE. 
Over in Australia, great to see regulars Gary Glazner and The Hon Dame Marie Bashir back again at the 10th Art of Good Health and Wellbeing International Arts and Health Conference, and its all taking place in the Sails Hotel up in Port Macquarie. Singer-songwriter and campaigner for Indigenous people Archie Roach AM will be at the Conference Dinner, (separate ticketed event). Click on the image below for full details.

'...there’s always the fear of tokenism'
The Native American novelist Tommy Orange teaches creative writing at the Institute of American Indian Arts and his debut novel is There There. In an interview with the Observer he shares his thinking behind this new and important work. 


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