Health and Psychology blog

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  • What we love abouT the COT Conference

    Martin Reid of the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) tells the story of Conference 2016, revealing that it was the biggest ever conference delivered by the OT, and that it trended on Twitter each day (in spite of the major news stories in the UK at the end of June).

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  • COT Pearson Award winner champions a ‘do with’ culture to improve outcomes for patients with personality disorders

    Image credit: Christof Van Der Walt

    Keir Harding was the recipient of this year’s COT Pearson Award for education, research or continuing professional development, an award which funded Keir’s attendance at the British and Irish Group for Study of Personality Disorders annual conference (BIGSPD). Here, Keir talks about applying for this award and the impact that ‘healing through doing’ can have on an individual's life.

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  • Who's talking about digital technology in psychology? A look at our first conference in York.

    When set the challenge of creating a Digital Technology in Psychology conference, my first response was excitement.

    It’s such a wide subject there’s bound to be lots to talk about – let’s get everyone involved…this however was closely followed by the thought, What if no one turns up? and Is technology as central as we like to think it is…?

    Lucky for me, people did submit papers on a range of topics and sign up to attend. So last week we held our first Digital Technology in Psychology conference at York University. We were delighted to welcome our keynote speaker, Dr Tom Manly co-author of the TEA and the new TEA-CH-2. Dr Manly’s talk looked at ‘What is attention?’ and explored the evolution of technology in delivering assessments. A first look at the exciting new TEA-Ch2 was also provided and we can certainly say the new space dog and alien were warmly received.

    This was followed by Sarah Kate Smith who led a fascinating discussion around Dementia and Assistive Technology; showing examples of how technological interventions can be used to promote conversations, social interaction and leisure activities. Introducing CIRCA, Sarah’s talk highlighted the importance of including feedback from individuals with dementia into the design and functionality plans of technology.

    Did you know that about 8% of people will experience problems with #PTSD that persist beyond 3 months? This was one of many areas highlighted during Sara Simblett’s talk, 'A systematic review of web-based technology to assist emotional adjustment and self-management of symptoms related to post-traumatic stress.' Here Sara looked at the different approaches that have been taken to studying the effectiveness of Interapy as a Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress via the Internet.

    After the break, Astrid Coxon generated lots of conversation and app sharing ideas with her talk on, 'The effectiveness of internet-based interventions for managing stress and anxiety in students in higher education: a systematic review'. Looking at some of the studies around web-based interventions and where the gaps currently exist. A conversation that then continued on twitter.

    'This Much!, This Feeling & Backdrop: The development of touch device procedures for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of children's positive and negative experiences', was an enlightening talk from David Glasgow. Exploring a number of different apps, the accompanying video’s showed a young boys interactions, and revealed how important additional information could be obtained to help shape understanding and care plans.

    Lola Oyelayo and Nick Reynolds, then joined us from Head London to run an exciting workshop on exploiting digital for dementia and depression. A session which pulled together many of the threads of conversation from the day. Beginning with a presentation the team highlighted some of the many issues that are affecting the development of technology in the psychology field including:

    • How will an increasingly digital literate population will affect how we provide support for individuals with #dementia in the future
    • How do we solve the problem of efficacy for #mentalhealth apps?

    I look forward the sharing the outcomes of these workshops in a later blog.

    As a first event, we were delighted to see the group so engaged in the topic, we’ll be sharing podcasts from many of the talks over the coming weeks, and so if you were unable to attend, you can sit back with cup of tea and catch up!

    I’m also pleased to see that the conversations are already continuing. Sarah Kate Smith will now be joining an exciting line up of presenters for Online Working Memory Week where Sarah will be presenting on ‘Exploiting touch screen tech to promote communication, social interaction & leisure activities with people living with dementia.’

    Thank you to all our presenters and delegates who helped to make this first event a success. Watch this space for plans for 2016.

    #WMLearn | #DigitalPsych15

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  • New: Sensory Profile 2

    We are delighted to be starting February with a new product launch - the eagerly awaited Sensory Profile 2 by author Dr Winnie Dunn.

    The Sensory Profile 2 is a family of assessments that provides you with standardised tools to help evaluate a child’s sensory processing patterns in the context of home, school and community-based activities.

    To learn more, view our new Author Learning Series; broadcasts presented by Dr. Winnie Dunn with detailed information on each of the forms.

    Plus, we've also put together the following infographic which gives you a handy overview of the technical developments:

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  • Peacehaven Community School: Continuing to raise the importance of SLCN

    Peacehaven Community School, were this year's winners of the Secondary School of the Year, Shine a Light Award. We caught up with Clare O'Rourke, Speech and Language Teacher at PCS to hear about what the school has been doing since winning this prestigious award.

    Since winning the Shine a Light Secondary School of the Year award last year Peacehaven Community School has continued to develop our SLCN practice.

    We enjoyed a wonderful fund-raising day in October. Staff and students were invited to pay £1 to wear a Onesie for the day with all proceeds going to Leisha’s campaign to raise funds to buy a new electric wheelchair. To launch the day Leisha, a year 8 student with cerebral palsy that affects her speech as well as her mobility, plucked up the courage to address two whole school assemblies. She explained that as well as improving her access to workstations in lessons, the new wheelchair would also help her to join in with conversations with her peers, as she will be able to move around the school in an upright, standing position. Her clear message that she was ‘sick of not being able to join in conversations going on over my head’! was a real eye-opener for the other students.

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  • No Pens Wednesday 2014 - A big success! - Guest blog post

    No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 took place on Wednesday 15th October and was an overwhelming success!

    We had over 1,700 schools registered this year, our most popular year yet! This year we have also seen a huge boost in registrations from those working in Early Years settings and special schools, with dedicated resources available for these settings appearing for the first time in No Pens Day 2014. It’s been wonderful that so many new schools and settings have taken part this year and we have been lucky enough to hear about the innovative ways that some of you have used the Trust’s materials.

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