WAPR conference in Bergen

WAPR is an independent, international organization consisting of interdisciplinary health workers from the psychiatric field. The organization’s stated goal is the dissemination of principles and practices in psychosocial rehabilitation. May 3rd, WAPR held a conference in Bergen, and the topic was recovery.

“Measuring recovery-related outcomes” was the title of Mike Slade’s lecture. Slade is a professor at the University of Nottingham, and is looking for a new way to meet mental health problems – to focus on how one can live a good life according to one’s own wishes. He presented research showing the importance of creating value in life, and forming an identity that revolve around something other than illness.

An important step in the work regarding recovery is to find what the services should aim to achieve. Slade made the point that whatever goal the staff aims for, it must be based on what the patients want. They must have meaning in a recovery perspective.

Image: Jane Rennison

Image: Jane Rennison

Jane Rennison held the lecture “Recovery College:  a vehicle for driving recovery focused practice in organizations”. Rennison is an Occupational Therapist at ImRoc, where patients, relatives and professionals meet to attend college together. The school has a principle of having people meet as human beings, and not just as titles. Iy was founded because single courses for health personnel did not appear to create lasting change in the institutions. The college does not require you to be in an academic trajectory. The recovery school is for everyone, and part of the idea is to have patients be able to work on themselves, and adopt an identity as “student”, and not “patient”. Several other centers have been closed in order to make room for recovery schools such as this.



The lecture “How to meet the needs of the affected” was held by Camilla Viktoria Johansen, who is a social educator and project manager. Based on her own experience and competency, she emphasized how difficult it can be for health workers to provide information. To go from hiding behind confidentiality, to provide necessary information is an important change which health personnel must master. This can be achieved using certain simple steps. Asking patients to give consent to having the institution is not to communicate in a language we use in daily life. Health personnel must rather ask questions such as “who are you most in contact with?”, “who do you turn to in difficult times?” and “who should know that you are admitted here?”


TEXT: Dagfinn Bjørgen, Lasse Barr and Ingvild M. Kvisle
PHOTO: Dagfinn Bjørgen