A former BACP chair will share a series of powerful and poignant stories from 40 years on the front line of mental health care during a public lecture.

Professor Lynne Gabriel will draw on her personal, professional and academic experiences of working in mental health for the talk at York St John University on Thursday 15 November.

Lynne is Professor of Counselling and Mental Health at the university, was chair of BACP between 2011 and 2014 and is now an emeritus chairwoman. She is also currently chair of BACP’s Good Practice Guide Steering Group.

She will talk about how much has changed in the field of mental health since she was a trainee nurse, and what her hopes are for the future.

She will also discuss the work of York St John’s Counselling and Mental Health Clinic, which she set up in 2016. The clinic offers low-cost and accessible counselling and therapy to people in York.

Lynne Gabriel
Lynne Gabriel will share a series of powerful and poignant stories from 40 years on the front line of mental health care

Lynne said: “When I started as a cadet nurse in the late 1960s and early 1970s, lobotomies were still taking place, neat Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) was used as a punishment and hot and cold baths were used. I was told off by the ward sister for talking to patients and told I didn’t have time to do that. Thankfully a lot has changed since I began my training.

“Mental health has become a political beast. Politicians are doing more, there are some fantastic role models, there is a generational shift and there are really forward-thinking NHS foundation trusts that are doing some great collaborative work.

“There are great signs that we are going in the right direction now, although there is still a lot more to do. We’re often still behind the door when it comes to funding.

“I hope my talk will be powerful and interesting to people. There should be a few laughs too.”

The talk ‘Mental Health Minefield: Stories from the Front Line’ takes place at 6pm on Thursday 15 November at York St John University.