Call for Presentations and Workshops

Call for Presentations and Workshops

There are many great reasons to be a presenter and/or a workshop leader at Design in Mental Health.

It’s an opportunity to share your knowledge with the community, promoting best practice and raising your organisation’s profile as well as your own. Many previous presenters and workshop leaders have told us that the exposure they got as a speaker led directly to them making new contacts that led in turn to productive collaborations.

Not to mention the fact that, as a speaker, you get free access to the full Conference programme on the day you are speaking – worth over £250!

What we’re looking for

The Design in Mental Health Advisory Board warmly welcomes proposals for presentations or workshops that touch on one or more of the eight themes below. Submissions that also reflect the following core values of Design in Mental Health are particularly welcome:

  • Promotion of Health and Wellbeing
  • Equality
  • Sustainable and Technological solutions

International submissions are encouraged as well as those from within the UK.

How to get involved

The first step is to submit a 300-word abstract summarising the contents and main points of your proposed presentation or workshop.

There is no cost to submit a presentation or workshop proposal, nor is there a cost for presenting, or facilitating a workshop at Design in Mental Health.


2024 Conference Themes (click for more detail)

From how service users are referred, to how local context culture permeates the system and the ramifications on design for service users, families and staff? How other countries are dealing with similar issues and attitudes to ligature risk across the globe.  How is the need for maintaining personal connections in treatment facilities being factored in to the drive for repeatability

Any examples of great stakeholder engagement?  What made it work so well?  How was the feedback used to impact the outcome?  This could include feedback from patients, ward staff, and friends and family.

With the ever-growing demands on healthcare services we have seen a shift change in collaborative working between Acute and Mental Health providers in areas such as RAID, A&E Liaison, Dementia, CAMHS, Community MDT’s and Psychological Therapies and local council social services.

We would like to see examples from the acute sector of collaborative working resulting in environments designed to be both functional and mental health friendly, for example, rooms within an A&E or community setting offering a therapeutic and calming area for treatment of those presenting with mental health problems.

Are you involved in implementing projects which support population mental health, or creating new pathways between primary and secondary care, or working with new partners e.g. in education or research.

  • How are providers navigating the complexity of the task?
  • How are integrated care systems working?
  • What is the value of translational research?
  • Any pilot studies/ projects to share?

Ways of supporting community to individual mental health?

  • Policy makers and trusts reshaping their estates
  • Progress against NHS Long Term Plan / 5YFWV
  • Updates to current guidance
  • Products – Informed choices updates / process and benefits

Gaps in policy – and recommendations to fill.

PIE takes into account the past experiences, emotional and mental needs and psychological makeup of the people living and working in that environment.

  • Examples where PIE has been used either in physical design or in working operation
  • The need for a better balance between the drive for ‘zero risk’ environments and spaces that can heal. How to get NHS Health Boards to implement changes to focus on psychological safety as well as physical safety. The need for clinicians to be able to assess risk and evaluate what risk management strategy is correct for the patient and their stage of journey. How can environments support this flexibility?
  • Examples of balancing the psychological safety with physical safety. What was the design process that managed this? What feedback and insights were collected?

A Clinician’s view of what works well, or areas of the design process that need to improve. The Clinician’s experience of a design project? Were the outcomes as envisaged? What changed from start to finish? What could be done differently with hindsight?

Structural arrangements in Trusts that ensure the clinical voice is protected in decision making process around built environment decisions – both in managing existing and new build or major refurbishment projects.

Describe the journey of developing and/or implementing a design-related idea in mental health clinical services, at any level (individual patient/clinical, individual staff/clinician, team, service, hospital/estate/organisational level). Design can incorporate any school or discipline, e.g. art, structural design, technology, amongst others).  Do you have examples of balancing psychological safety with physical safety and what was the design process that managed this?  Please share any insights that you collected.

All submissions must show evidence of:

  • A patient or clinical need
  • A systematic process of having considered solutions
  • Reference or use to clinical research or clinical experience devise a solution
  • Having placed patient experience at the heart of the solution

In order of preference, we would consider:

  • Implemented solutions which have been evaluated
  • Implemented solutions which have yet to be evaluated
  • Any well-developed solution which is pre-implementation

Have you been involved in the design of a building or interior for mental health service users? Do you have an interesting recent example that you would like to share?

  • Examples from a range of settings; hospital, community or domestic
  • The emotional impact of the environment – art, lighting,
  • What outcomes did you set out to achieve?
  • What challenges did you face? How were these overcome?
  • What ingredients are needed for a successful building project?

Designing for particular groups (dementia / eating disorders / deaf / autism etc)

Dementia design, dementia and ageing experience, acoustic design, sensory impacts of neurodiversity, biophilic design. Empathetic design. Emotional impact of the environment.

Many service users are engaged in consultation across the whole mental health arena. We are looking for service users to talk about their experience of the process together with someone from the company / trust etc who can identify the outcomes from the consultation. This category is open to all service users present and past, if the service user is unable to attend due to ill-health then the presentation could be given by a nominated representative.

Examples and outcomes from the consultation.

Innovations which are improving outcomes such as access, engagement, effectiveness or affordability of treatment (innovations could be technology / products or simply a better way of doing things).

Case studies which demonstrate improved outcomes and capture:


  • How technology is supporting safer environments
  • How technology is allowing clinicians more scope to assess patient safety / risk levels
  • The decision-making process to assess and evaluate new products
  • Joint working between design teams / clients / service user and manufacturers to solve problems
  • Ways that technology is having a positive impact on care
  • How products, processes or facilities can help reduce the feeling of being ‘treated’