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Dr Dan Fisher shares stateside knowledge

Posted on 18, November 2009

As reported by Mary O’Hara in the Society Guardian, Dr Dan Fisher MD, PhD, has flown over from the States to be the keynote speaker at Together’s first ever national conference, which is being held at the Royal College of Physicians today.

Dan, who experienced schizophrenia before training as a psychiatrist, was one of two key mental health advisors to the Obama presidential campaign. He is a positive role model for people with experience of mental health issues, the Executive Director of the National Empowerment Center in Massachusetts and a steering committee member of the National Coalition of Mental Health Consumer/Survivor Organisations (NCMHCSO).

Different models of personalisation have been operating stateside for more than a decade. Against this backdrop the implementation of personalised mental health services in England is relatively new.

At Together’s conference Should Service Users lead the Personalisation Agenda? Personally, Locally, Strategically? Dan will be talking about how personalisation has been made to work in the USA, give an overview of working with direct payments, and discussing how to prove its value and impact by evidencing associated health benefits, as well as cost savings.

Other leading practitioners in the field, all of whom have also experienced mental health issues, will be sharing best practice and running workshops aimed at demonstrating how people with experience must be at the centre of planning personalised services.

Together believes that service user leadership at every level is critical to the success of personalisation and have made it one of our key strategic objectives. By 2014 we are aiming for all people using our mental health services to be able to fully direct their own support, and be able to access services using personal and individual budgets.

A crucial part of this is the re-balancing of power between services users and professionals, with a growth in peer led and peer support services.  Together believes that we are well-placed to do this given our investment in service user involvement.