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The Story of the Skellern Lecture and the Lifetime Achievement Award, so far..


From the 1970s, Eileen Skellern made a significant contribution to the development of the modern profession of Mental Health Nursing.   One of her last contributions was the planning of the First International Psychiatric Nursing Congress in 1980.This took place in London, two months after her death.  The inaugural Eileen Skellern Memorial Lecture was established two years later to remember her career and influence. Over the following years the Skellern Lecture was held every four years attracting a roster of leading figures in the field of Mental Health Nursing.  In 2002 Joy Bray, Bryn Davies, Sally Hardy, Chris Hart, and Gary Winship (in collaboration with with Phil Barker, Ann Jackson, Gary Rolfe, Steve Tilley, Mary Watkins, Harry Wright) met to move the series forward.  So from 2006 the Skellern Lecture series was revitalised and the Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing sponsored the first Lifetime Achievement Award with the aim of celebrating a sustained career contribution in the field of mental health.  The Skellern Lecture and Lifetime Achievement Award evenings have since become an annual event.  Before the award recipients are appointed there is a short-listing process. Nominations are received from colleagues and a short list is presented to a panel made up of previous lecturers and award recipients and sponsoring organisations.  The strength of the short list signifies the high calibre of the Skellern & JPMHN awards. The decision of the appointments panel is announced at the annual conference dinner of the NPNR Conference.Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go-to font for titles, paragraphs & more.

Skellern Lecture - In Memoriam

In 2015  we held an In Memory section during the evening (see a short film here). During 2014 and in the near years we saw the passing of a number of dear colleagues. Two people who have been closely connected to the Skellern Lecture and the JPMHN Lifetime Award were Julia Brooking and Helen Bamber. Julia had succeeded Eileen Skellern at Maudsley as Chief Nurse and played an important role in establishing the Skellern Lecture in the 1980s and she supported the revitalisation of the event in 2006. Helen Bamber also passed away in 2014. Helen was awarded the JPMHN Lifetime Achievement in 2009 and her address, for those who were there, was indeed a privilege to witness.  Helen was a giant who shaped the way which we have come to appreciate the necessity of human rights as a core value, whose influence has penetrated deeply into many fields including Mental Health practice.  


See Julia Brooking’s Obituary in the Guardian here

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