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I've had a busy few weeks...

I’ve had a busy few weeks.  For those of you that have met me you will know that I am passionate about singing and would love to be an accomplished jazz singer.  My journey came one step nearer a couple of weekends ago when I took part in a special weekend workshop in Edinburgh, which was my Christmas present from Ron.  The weekend was with singer Sophie Bancroft her partner on double bass Tom Lynne and pianist Paul Harrison, fantastic musicians, a brilliant singing tutor and only 4 students.  It was a wonderful weekend I learnt so much and to sing with some of the best Scottish musicians was very emotional – thanks Ron for believing in me. I then traveled on down to Gloucestershire to see my family before starting a three day course on recovery at the lighthouse in Welshpool.  I had 14 staff on the course, they were really enthusiastic and keen to learn, it was good to see how the place is progressing and has had a few discharges already.

I then drove back up to Scotland, picked up my son Liam and caught the boat back to the island, Ron had been in charge of the kids and 17 pigs. Interestingly he now calls the pigs his! Kids all in one piece and house surprisingly tidy - is Ron becoming house-husband material/farmer????

Next we flew off island leaving Liam with pigs and Kids.  Stopped for morning in Glasgow to run a session with students at Glasgow Caledonian then back to the airport to fly on to Gatwick then to Venice arriving 11pm straight to hotel, was upgraded to suite with 2 free gin and tonics, got a sleep then straight on train to Trieste for conference.

Trieste was great to catch up with old friends - John Jenkins, Alan Rosen , Roberto Mezzini, Marcello Maccario and many others but we were a little disappointed with the conference.  Ron gave a really good keynote on the first morning, the conference was to celebrate Basaglia the great revolutionary of psychiatric care in Italy, he spent most of his time in Trieste closing down the hospital before his untimely death.  Trieste has been held as world class example of good mental health practice, this has been good in many ways but think can also be a problem.

Ron challenged everyone to keep the revolution permanent.  Closing the hospitals down was only the first step, what we need to achieve is full citizenship for all, with choice and ownership.

The conference was meant to be a debating shop but unfortunately we didn’t see much debate.  But what was good was the amount of people from different parts of the world, Brazil, Australia, USA, Finland just a few of the countries represented.  Nicholas Rose gave an interesting keynote, at one point he put up a slide on anti-psychotic consumption most countries were around the same level.  But Finland was way above the others, we spoke to a couple of Finnish delegates who were keen to get hold of the slide to take back to Finland so they could ask why there was such a difference.

I was part of a workshop with Alain Topor, he is a psychologist from Sweden and has done some really good research into recovery.  It felt pretty amazing to share a platform with him, as he is one of the people I quote when training.

We left the conference with a day to go with a long day of travel ahead of us.  Liam was great though, he hadn't been looking forward to coming up as he finds the island too isolating.  But he really enjoyed the challenge of looking after the pigs, including the 2 big pigs escaping, and multiple escapes by the weaners and found his time went by really quickly.  I think he now understands better why we moved to Lewis.
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Posted: 10/03/2010 18:09:43 by Jim Campbell
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