Fallen Angels director’s Claire Morris and Paul Bayes Kitcher attended the NHS Addiction Providers Alliance conference in late 2023. It focused on Addiction and Stigma. At Fallen Angels we are keen to be the voice of people in addiction recovery through our performances and public speaking. This was an opportunity to attend a conference and reflect on our work in this context.
The day started with a keynote speech from Dan Carden MP for Liverpool Walton. Dan’s inspirational speech put lived experience front and centre for the conference. He has used his own lived experience of addiction recovery to raise a light on the challenges for this community, and outlined how his work through doing so within parliament and the APPG’s will recognise addiction as a mental health condition, as see the public view on addiction move from judgement to compassion and understanding.
We were delighted to hear from a panel of professionals including our friend Dot Turton CEO of Recovery Connections: https://recoveryconnections.org.uk/ is always inspiring to the team at Fallen Angels, we noticed a great paper they have published on their website about stigma: https://recoveryconnections.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Stigma.-A-consultation-with-people-with-experience-of-addiction-and-people-in-recovery.-June-2020._-1.pdf and great reference from our friends in the North East.
There we insights from Dr John Kelly, Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where we were fascinated by the scientific evidence, of the altered state of the brain for substance use disorders. https://twitter.com/Johnkellymgh
Lucy Rocca from Soberista’s talked about how the organisation conquers shame in addiction. Soberista is a social network website. https://soberistas.com/
To find out more information and watch back the recordings of the sessions head over to: https://www.nhsapa.org/stigma-conference-2023?bmid=6978fbd59729
We reflected on how Stigma impacts people engaging with workshops and projects at Fallen Angels?
- Increased barrier to engaging and receiving the benefits of participation
- Fear of judgement, shame and embarrassment
- Wishing to remain anonymous
- Previous experiences
- Being associated with an addiction recovery orientated organisation
In our next blog we will talking about how we are responding to today’s insights and our reflections.
Photo: Point of View photography