New mental health clinic holds first Norfolk conference in Dereham

Dr Mukhtar Nasir, left, at the NAFS CBT conference in Dereham. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Dr Mukhtar Nasir, left, at the NAFS CBT conference in Dereham. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

A new mental health clinic which hopes to provide an online programme of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has held its inaugural training conference in Dereham.

Lisa Robertson and Tony Pace, from Abbeycare Specialist Recovery Clinic. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Lisa Robertson and Tony Pace, from Abbeycare Specialist Recovery Clinic. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes - Credit: Archant

NAFS CTB Clinic, based in Ely, welcomed mental health workers and other professionals, from psychiatric nurses and PhD candidates, to police officers , to their first Norfolk training conference in the town's memorial hall on November 2.

The event, which ran from 9.30am to 3pm, included talks on managing stress from Dr Laura Edwards, a clinical pschologist at the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), and on addiction in the workplace from Lisa Robertson and Tony Pace, from Abbeycare Specialist Recovery Clinic.

NAFS managing director and consultant psychiatrist Dr Mukhtar Nasir said: 'Stress is a leading aspect of our lives, and something all of us here deal with. It's about how we are perceived by the world.

'Geneticists say as human beings we are not programmed for this fast pace of life.


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'As a man you have a 1 in 10 chance and as a woman you have a 4 in 10 chance of being diagnosed with depression.'

Dr Nasir, 53, a former NSFT psychiatrist, added: 'NAFS main focus is on providing internet-based vital treatment to overcome the gap in service delivery.

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'NHS and governments are slow to take up new techniques.

'This is why we've started. This is the new model [and] people need to be able to access it.'

The clinic was launched last year, and is seeking accreditation from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Dr Nasir said: 'This is our first training course and we are looking to provide CBT through the internet.

'We used to be based in Dereham but now we are in Ely.'

Dr Laura Edwards, who talked about work related stress and burnout, said: 'Stress contributes to physical and mental problems, as people get to a point of physical and emotional exhaustion.'

But she added: 'Close proximity to people we are close with is one of the biggest soothers of stress.'

Lisa Robertson, unit manager of Abbeycare, which runs 12-step, CBT and group therapy sessions, said: 'ONS figures say the numbers of people dying from alcohol abuse has doubled in the last 13 years.

'Our work is on changing lives.'

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