Neuro-diversity workshop

The Evolution of Neuro-Diversity: A Critical Perspective of Mental Health Workshop

(alternatively:  The Stigma of Mental Health Experiences: How Can Psychology Tackle It?)

Chloe Farahar | MBPsS 

In this workshop Chloe Farahar (University of Kent PhD student) demonstrates a critical perspective and analysis of what are presently called “mental illnesses”, and the subject of “mental health”. 

While this workshop focusses on mental health stigma, it also provides an insight into how to consider and apply a critical psychological perspective, in this instance, one at odds with the dominant medical-model discourse surrounding neuro-diversity. 

Please note that this workshop contains real-life narratives about mental health (contains a short video that mentions abuse, aggression, and suicide – not in detail).  We will also be discussing the negative language and portrayals of mental health, so please be aware that negative language will be used, but as a means to discuss and break-down stigma.

Workshop overview:

Stigma of mental health experiences:

  • What is stigma?
  • Why’s it a problem?
  • Pathology or neuro-divergence?
  • How can we reduce it?

(more detailed layout):

  • Task – mentally-ill vs. mentally-well
  • The problem – mental illness stigma
  • Pathology paradigm
  • Language shaping stigma attitudes and behaviour
    • Muffin time!
  • What’s “normal” anyway
  • Debunking the pathology paradigm
  • Normalcy of “psychosis”/hallucinating
  • Neuro-diversity paradigm
    • Why we need different minds – the banana problem
  • A life in labels – illness or neuro-divergence?
  • How to cope with being neuro-divergent – the Power Threat Meaning Framework
  • What can we do?
  • Language of neuro-diversity
  • Overview
  • Celebrate diversity 

Time requirements: This workshop suits a two hour (or more) timeframe to incorporate interaction, reflection, and discussion.  

Attendees: There are no limits as to the number who can attend, and the workshop has been delivered to both small (e.g. 10) and large groups (80). The workshop is appropriate for all age groups and backgrounds (upwards of age 14 years+), and has been carried out with: teenage school children; foundation degree students; degree students; charitable organisation staff/volunteers; support and well-being staff etc. An estimate of participant numbers nearer the day is appreciated as one of the tasks requires baked goods (this allows the purchase of the right amount on the day).

Workshop delivery requirements: PLEASE NOTE: Chloe has her own projector, stand, and screen – but please inform her if you have your own she can use.  Ideally, the workshop requires a room with speakers/audio capability for a video with sound; and a wipe board (if time for a two-hour workshop then flip-chart paper and pens for attendees would be appreciated).  This workshop has been carried out in lecture theatres; smaller group-work rooms; school halls etc. – all rooms can be used for the delivery of this workshop, and it is down to your room availability/attendee size.

To discuss Chloe delivering any of her workshops or talks please contact us here:

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