On 29th November as part of the NSUN Members Event, we were joined by Jerome Sewell, Tippa Naphtali and Micha Frazer-Carroll for a panel discussion: Abolition and Mental Health: Re-imagining and Building Alternatives.

The speakers spoke with passion and experience on what abolition looks like on the ground in their various roles as service providers. Together, they unpacked the term abolition and it’s various meanings, distinguishing between removing services completely and replacing them with more fit for purpose, community-created options.

Watch a recording of the event: 

Jerome discussed the existing psychiatric system’s carceral nature. Tippa emphasised the value in creating and developing support systems from within our communities. Micha spoke about how rather than simply removing resources and support, abolition creates space for a plurality of approaches, including prevention. The panel gave examples of how these ideas are already being and have previously been practiced in the UK as well as imagining what abolition in Mental Health Services will look like in the future. 

Here are some attendees reflections on the event:

“Excellent Synergy Session. Chairing full of love, connection and insight sharing vs distant and sterile. Human connections with exceptional speakers ahead of the session = powerful experience of unity” 

“Made me think of whiteness in psych/survivor organising and wanting to hold spaces to reflect/digest that. Really appreciated the space so thank you” 

“I enjoyed hearing about alternative initiatives that were also referenced in the chat so i could see. Thank you”