Carl Bateson has many years of experience of the mental health sector, including working to facilitate help and entertainment planning at psychiatric inpatient wards at Trafford General Hospital, and subsequently being on research review panels of The Psychosis Research Unit (PRU) as a member of the Service User Reference Group (SURG). During his 5 years of involvement with PRU, he has produced work that has been valued by both staff and service users.
Some of the projects Carl has been heavily involved in are the development, maintenance and promotion of the PRU website and the designing of helpful Resources, as well as being involved in web design for several projects in other mental health trusts and organizations, including Lancaster University’s REACT (Relatives Education & Coping Toolkit) project and East Anglia University’s/NHS project SRT (Social Recovery Therapy).
Carl has worked closely with David Shiers as a consultant, at first on the development of the resource “Right from the start: Keeping your body in mind”, and then into a promotion and web development/webmaster role to promote The Right from the Start resources and brand using different online and media-based methods.
While working at PRU, Carl was a consultant on the Data Monitoring and Ethics Committee (DMC) for PRU’s MAPS Trial, which compared the effectiveness of CBT and family intervention versus antipsychotic treatment, and versus combined antipsychotic treatment and psychological treatment. He is currently a member of the DMC for The gameChange Project, which involves the use of virtual reality (VR) therapy to help people experiencing psychosis to have greater confidence in everyday outside situations. Furthermore, Carl has written and published a chapter for the book: “Personal experiences of psychological therapy for psychosis and related experiences.”
Carl’s focus is to contribute ideas, several of which have been implemented, including crisis cards, email footers, websites and new systems to make help more accessible and to ease the path for service users and staff alike. He is able to think abstractly and bring a different perspective and creative energy to current research objectives. This has enabled Carl to reflect on where and when early intervention would have been paramount in stopping the development of longer-lasting mental health difficulties. His experience has helped him to identify hurdles within the sector facing both users and staff. He is passionate about trying to reach out and help mental health sufferers.
Carl views CBT for problems, such as stigma, as a valuable process. However, rather than address the aftermath of a mental health problem, he thinks we could also work to target the cause of the problem at an environmental and social level, such as redefining what it means to live with a mental health problem, to prevent stigma and discrimination.
His aspirations are to help develop greater “togetherness” and cohesion of service providers (care workers, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists) working in collaboration with service users. As well as greater efficiency, he thinks that meeting the needs of both the service users and the providers should provide a better model of support and a more personal designed care plan, enabling there to be less frustration at a time when life is confusing and challenging enough.