Job: Clinical researcher in Bipolar Affective Disorder and advance directives

19 October 2016

Four-year position starting in January 2017, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.

As part of a team (Dr Gareth Owen (psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience), Dr Tania Gergel (mental health ethics), Dr Larry Rifkin (psychiatry, South London & Maudsley), and Alex Ruck Keene (law) aiming to develop a tailored model of self-binding advance directives in Bipolar Affective Disorder within a real-life clinical service and to develop guidance for professional organisations, service-users and carers on advance directives, as well as recommendations for law reform, we are looking to recruit a Clinical Researcher.

This would be a four-year position starting in January 2017 (although there could be some degree of flexibility on timing). We are looking for someone who has completed (or is shortly due to complete) membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and is interested in combining academic research with clinical training.

Service user involvement will be integral to the project throughout and there will also be an important Medical Humanities element, focusing on personhood and decision-making in Bipolar.   There will be the opportunity to complete a PhD as part of their work on this project and to develop specialist expertise on Bipolar.

This team is one work stream within Mental Health and Justice, a major collaborative and interdisciplinary five-year research project, funded by the Wellcome Trust.  Informed by the debate surrounding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD), the project will explore multiple aspects of the questions surrounding the nature of decision-making ability within mental disorder and how decision-making can be supported when compromised by illness.

Alongside the academic research, one day each week will be spent working in clinical practice to maintain a clinical training pathway. The candidate will be supported with a Health Education England OOPR application to count toward CCT.

If you think that you might be interested and would like to know more about the position, please contact Dr Gareth Owen (; tel 0207 8485479) for further information.  Please look out for the forthcoming advertisement on the King’s College London vacancy page.

Bedlam: the asylum and beyond

18 October 2016

15 September 2016 – 15 January 2017

Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE

Follow the rise and fall of the mental asylum and explore how it has shaped the complex landscape of mental health today. Reimagine the institution, informed by the experiences of the patients, doctors, artists and reformers who inhabited the asylum or created alternatives to it.

Today asylums have largely been consigned to history but mental illness is more prevalent than ever, as our culture teems with therapeutic possibilities: from prescription medications and clinical treatment to complementary medicines, online support, and spiritual and creative practices. Against this background, the exhibition interrogates the original ideal that the asylum represented – a place of refuge, sanctuary and care – and asks whether and how it could be reclaimed.

Taking Bethlem Royal Hospital as a starting point, ‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond’ juxtaposes historical material and medical records with individual testimonies and works by artists such as David Beales, Richard Dadd, Dora García, Eva Kotátková, Madlove: A Designer Asylum, Shana Moulton, Erica Scourti, Javier Téllez and Adolf Wölfli, whose works reflect or reimagine the institution, as both a physical and a virtual space.

Visit the Wellcome Collection website for further information about the exhibition or to view the range of events associated with this exhibition including performance art, tours and discussions.

Art at Bethlem_ main [DavidBeales_OntheWard].jpg

Lecture: Disabling Legal Barriers – The inaugural lecture of Professor Oliver Lewis, KCL MA Medical Ethics and Law alumnus

28 September 2016


3rd November 2016, 5pm

Moot Court Room
Liberty Building
School of Law
University of Leeds

This lecture will review the impact of strategic human rights litigation as a tool that can expose and demolish barriers that prevent people with mental health issues or learning disabilities from enjoying equality, inclusion and justice. Oliver will draw on fifteen years work in central and eastern Europe with the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre, an international NGO that collaborates with the University and offer students an opportunity to engage with its litigation and advocacy.

Dr Oliver Lewis was called to the Bar in 2000 and is an associate barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, London. He is the Executive Director of the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre, an international NGO that uses law to secure equality, inclusion and justice for people with mental health issues or learning disabilities worldwide. He is a recurrent visiting professor in law at the Central European University where he developed a LLM module on ‘Mental disability law and advocacy”, and a faculty member at the Indian Law Society where he teaches an international diploma on mental health and human rights law. He is a trustee of the Avon and Bristol Law Centre, and a member of PILNet’s Hungary board. He is interested in how law serves both as a barrier to social inclusion and as method of addressing injustice. His research has focused on international human rights law and mechanisms, human rights monitoring (including monitoring closed institutions such as psychiatric hospitals), strategic litigation, legal capacity, mental health law, political participation and the right to life.

He served as research director for the first disability project of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, and has been retained as an expert to organisations such as the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights.

Register via Eventbrite.


Conference: Why do humans become mentally ill?

16 March 2015

17th International Conference on Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, organized by the International Network for Philosophy and Psychiatry, will take place from 29 to 31 October 2015 in Chile, at the gates of Patagonia.

On behalf of the committee, you are invited to submit your abstracts until April 1, 2015. 

Further information is available here.

Conference/Summer School: Mind, Value and Mental Health

25 November 2014

July 23rd – 25th, 2015, St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford

It is with great pleasure that we announce two linked events comprising:
• a two-day summer school offering opportunities for substantial dialogue between philosophers, scientists and mental health practitioners
• a one-day conference delivered by renowned experts in the field through keynote lectures

Presented by the Faculty of Philosophy and the Department for Continuing Education, these events will explore the areas in which the philosophy of mind and ethics or the philosophy of value come into contact with issues about mental health.

2nd Oxford Summer School
23–24 July 2015
Delivered by renowned experts in the field through guest lectures and seminars, and providing opportunities for substantial dialogue between philosophers, scientists and mental health practitioners. Topics include:
• Other Minds (Anita Avramides, Joel Kruegar and Vasu Reddy)
• Hallucinations/Psychosis (Matthew Broome, Matthew Parrott and Owen Earnshaw)
• Embodiment (Katherine Morris and Emily Troscianko)
• Mental Health and Human Flourishing (Edward Harcourt and Jeremy Holmes)
• Ancients and Mental Health (Karen Margarethe Nielsen)

25 July 2015
Stimulating keynote lectures delivered by international speakers including:
• Rachel Cooper (Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University, UK)
• Owen Flanagan (James B Duke Professor and Professor of Neurobiology, Duke University, USA)
• Gerrit Glas (Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry, Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands)
• Anna Christina Nobre (Professor of Translational Cognitive Neuroscience, Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity and Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK)

Residential and non-residential options are available. Further details here.

To register your interest in this summer school please email

Conference: 3rd AISB Symposium on Re-conceptualizing Mental “Illness”

25 November 2014

From Mental “Illness” to Disorder and Diversity: New Directions in the Philosophical and Scientific Understanding of Mental Disorder, part of the 2015 Annual Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour (SSAISB)

20-22nd April 2015, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom

This symposium builds on our two previous symposia on this topic, at the AISB conventions in Exeter (2013) and London (2014).  Our focus is, again, on new perspectives arising from philosophy of mind and psychiatry — most notably from enactive philosophy and supporters of Clark and Chalmers’ extended-mind hypothesis — as well as from cognitive science questioning the traditionally dominant biopsychiatric model with its assumption that mental “illness” either just is physical illness or that it emerges directly from well-defined and physically localized physical processes, in the same way as physical illness.  Although there are a range of perspectives being offered that challenge the traditional model, what most if not all have in common is an inclination to see mental processes as physically realized but not necessarily physically localized in the way that biological processes are.  Too, as represented notably by the solutions focused approach, there is a move away from diagnostic labelling and what might be seen as an over-reliance on psychotropic drugs in favour of whatever improves the subject’s sense of well being at the same time as allowing the person to make the usually expected contribution to society.  In place of pathology, illness, and disease, one finds instead disorder — albeit disorder that takes account of the subject’s interaction with her physical and social environment in an active, border-transgressing way — and, in very many cases, cognitive diversity.  In place of reductionism of mind to brain, one has varieties of non-reductive physicalism where mind extends in various substantive ways into environment, its boundaries subject — to borrow a key phrase from Clark — to constant re-negotiation. In place of aspirin-like mitigation or masking of symptoms, one has a re-examination of underlying causal factors; in place of a simple linear causal model, one has a far more complex picture involving circular causality and a great deal of irreducible interaction.

What was a number of scattered dissenting “lone voices” has become an emergent new paradigm.  This interdisciplinary symposium and the field it represents touches on many key themes of the AISB:   the nature of the mind in relationship to its environment, the application of computer models to these matters, the breadth of cognitive science from theoretical philosophical explorations to concrete applications and new directions in treatment.

Call for papers – Submissions must be by full paper or, in the case of poster presentation, abstract, suitably prepared for blind review.  Papers should be kept to a maximum of 5,000 words and intended for presentation in a 25-minute format.  Abstracts should be approximately 500 words.  Submission is via the EasyChair website.

Topics may include but need not be limited to:

–        philosophy of psychiatry
–       computational models of mental health diversities and disorders
–        conceptual schemes and re-conceptualization as they relate to mental health
–        semiotic perspectives on mental health
–        extended-mind hypothesis and mental health
–        empirical philosophy and mental health
–        cognitive science and mental health
–        movement away from pathologizing mental health issues
–        the Solutions Focused approach
–        ethical and political consequences of an extended/enactive approach to mental health issues

 5 January – deadline for submission of full papers and poster abstracts.
24 January – notification of acceptance.
10 April – final versions of papers due for inclusion in the proceedings.

Convention website here. Symposium website (under construction) here.

Conference: The roots of prejudice – philosophy and psychoanalysis

2 November 2014

Saturday 15th November 2014, 9.30 – 5.00pm at The Anna Freud Centre, London.

An international conference about hating others and the social and clinical aspects of prejudice.

The contemporary resurgence of malignant forms of prejudice, and the continuing ubiquity of the everyday variety, brings a new sense of urgency to this important subject. With speakers from psycho-social studies, group analysis, philosophy and psychoanalysis, this international conference addresses contemporary manifestations of various forms of prejudice with perspectives on their unconscious dynamics.

Speakers and titles:
Lene Auestad ‘Prejudice as Socially Unconscious’
Brian Klug ‘The Logic of an Illusion’
Farhad Dalal ‘Prejudice as Ideology: The creation of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ groups in society – and psychoanalysis’
Domain Aisha Abbasi ‘Prejudice in the Analytic Setting:  From the Socio-political Sphere to the Intra-psychic’

For further information including talk abstracts and conference registration here.

Job: Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Law at Northumbria

17 November 2013

Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Law
Northumbria University -Faculty of Business and Law

Ref BAL13/04
Full Time
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Salary: £37,382 – £45,941

Northumbria is a thriving research engaged, business focused, professional university with a firm ambitious vision. Working within the Law School, you will join a team of highly qualified academics with a passion for enhancing the student experience.

The successful candidate will join the award winning Law School and will contribute to research informed learning and teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels with a particular emphasis on Mental Health Law. You will undertake research and scholarly activities contributing to the Faculty’s research profile, together with contributing to consultancy, income generation and business development activities, including providing specialist Mental Health training to external professionals.

With excellent interpersonal skills, you must be able to demonstrate expertise in and knowledge of Mental Health Law including the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act and be able to teach effectively on a range of academic and professional programmes using a variety of approaches to student learning. Appropriately professionally qualified, you must have commenced or be willing to undertake doctoral study and subsequent research.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Helen Kingston, Director of Legal Services on 0191 227 3828 or by email

To download an Application Form please click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

Northumbria University is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community.

Closing Date: 03 January 2014

Lecture: Professor Genevra Richardson on mental disorder and the law

3 February 2012

Thursday 16 February 2012
Mental disorder and the law: A decade of learning?
Current Legal Problems Lecture: 2011-12
Professor Genevra Richardson, King’s College London
Time: 6 – 7pm
Venue: UCL Faculty of Laws
Open to all, free of charge

Well over ten years ago the New Labour government embarked on a programme of mental health law reform. It was an often heated and unedifying process but out of it have emerged twenty first century amendments to an old statute and some more twenty first century amendments to a new statute. These two statutes deal respectively with mental disorder and mental incapacity, two closely related concepts that both law and medicine struggle to define in the abstract and to apply in practice. This paper will return to some of the themes raised in a CLP lecture delivered in 2001 and will consider how far we have come since then, what lessons we have learned, what questions we should have been asking and what the prospects might be for the future.

Genevra Richardson has been Professor of Law at King’s College London since 2005. Before coming to King’s she was Professor of Public Law at Queen Mary, University of London. She has a long-standing interest in law and psychiatry. In 1998-9 she chaired the Expert Committee established by the Department of Health to advise ministers on the reform of mental health legislation. In recent years she has conducted research into the assessment of mental capacity with a team from the Institute of Psychiatry. She has been a member of Council of the Medical Research Council and the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council and is currently a trustee of the Nuffield Foundation. She is an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Radio: The Lobotomists

7 November 2011

BBC Radio 4, available to listen again indefinitely via the iPlayer, repeated on Radio 4 on Wednesday 29 February 2012 at 11am

A fascinating programme about the use of leucotomy or lobotomy in Portugal, the US and the UK and the doctors who championed it as a potential cure for many psychiatric disorders from the 1930s to the 1950s.