The Chy Sawel Project: November 2016: Exeter

Estuary Suite, Sandy Park Conference Centre, Exeter. November 4th 2016

This is the lead image on the homepage of Mental Health Charity The Chy Sawel Project, championing an holistic approach to treating anxiety, depression and stress.

Today’s Mental Health Crisis – The Time For Change!

The 2016 conference is seventh organised by Sandra Breakspeare for The Chy Sawel Project and with the deepening crisis within the psychiatric system, the main question the conference addressed was…

is now The Time For Change?

All of the speaker at this years’s conference are leading professionals in their particular fields and each set out their area of interest, backed with the latest research, arguing in favour of non pharmaceutical therapy options, producing positive outcomes in the treatment in mental health conditions.

Speaker Profiles

Nick Putman: Open Dialogue

Nick Putman is a psychotherapist and a certified Open Dialogue practitioner, having completed a two year training in the Open Dialogue approach. He is now one of the trainers on the full three year Open Dialogue programme, which started in London in April 2015. Nick has also been visiting the Open Dialogue service in Western Lapland, to learn more about the approach and the structure of the service. He has more than 20 years experience working in a variety of mental health settings, and considerable experience working with people experiencing psychosis.


Robert Whitaker: Author & scientific journalist

Robert Whitaker’s first book ‘Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill‘ was named as one of the best science books by Discover magazine. Another ‘Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America’ won the Investigative Reporters and Editors book award in 2010. And his latest, co-authored with Lisa Cosgrove, is ‘Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform’. Before writing books, Robert was the science and medical reporter for the Albany Times Union in New York and also Director of productions at Harvard Medical School in the mid 1990’s.


Dr Alex Richardson

Dr Alex Richardson is best known for her research into how nutrition (and particularly fatty acids) can affect behaviour, learning and mood, although her work also involves several large-scale collaborative programmes that include studies of epidemiology, genetics, brain imaging, biochemistry and nutrition as well as physiological and psychological functioning. The research has always been aimed at developing new methods of identification and management that will have real practical benefit, Dr Richardson works closely with a range of education and health practitioners as well as local and national support groups and charities.


Dr Dan Bloomfield: BSc, MA, MSc,PhD. University of Exeter

Dr Dan Bloomfield works at the University of Exeter, where he researches the role that engagement with natural places can play in addressing chronic health issues, particularly concerning mental wellbeing.  He runs a project, called A Dose of Nature, that runs nature prescription pilot projects around the south west of England.  He has degrees in ecology, sustainable development, psychotherapy and the linguistics of policy networks.  He has worked in the private, academic, voluntary and public sectors over the last fifteen years.


Katinka Blackford-Newman

Katinka Blackford Newman is an award winning freelance documentary film maker, published author and investigative journalist. Her bestselling book ‘The Pill That Steals Lives’ about pharma corruption, has been used as the starting point for the BBC Panorama investigation ‘A Prescription for Murder’ a production on which she also worked. In her spare time, Katinka runs a campaign to help people affected by the side effects of prescription drugs, regularly speaks about here experience at conferences and events and has been interviewed about her story on TV and radio, in the UK and around the world.



One of the key aims of The Chy Sawel Project is to promote research that challenges assumptions commonly made about mental health conditions. If you believe in challenging these assumptions too and would like to help, please click here.




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