The conference was arranged by HoardingUK, the National Charity for people impacted by hoarding behaviour.
It focused on how to treat and manage hoarding disorder.
The charity aims to open doors to psychological support within statutory services, creating clear pathways for practical help and improving outcomes for people and professionals.
HoardingUK has been working for over a decade to provide a safe space for people with hoarding behaviour. Over 10 years ago HoardingUK set up the first therapeutic hoarding support group. The charity offers a free and confidential national helpline and a multidisciplinary task force – which have all brought lasting change.
HoardingUK brings people together, putting the person at the centre, whilst working with others such as family and professionals.
The conference took place in the prestigious Emirates Stadium, home of the Arsenal football team.
The conference aimed to highlight the growing need for support among hoarders, and the need to put into place the necessary services to support them towards long-term change.
Do you know that since 2013 the DSM V, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental health disorders disorders has recognised Hoarding as a separate mental health issue. One can now get a diagnosis of Hoarding Disorder. This is helpful for the patient to access services. However in the ICD 10, the UK equivalent of the DSM V hoarding is not yet considered a disorder.
The conference received national media coverage by the BBC. It was a pleasure to meet so many professionals from a diverse range of services across the UK. Over a third of the attendees were hoarder sufferers themselves. It was humbling to hear their stories of struggle and triumph.
HOARDING AND TRAUMA- A LINK?
The keynote session was delivered by Dr Satwan Singh, the Clinical Director of HoardingUK. Dr Singh is a CBT therapist, a Nurse Consultant in CBT and mental health. He has co-facilitated the London Hoarding treatment group since 2005.
He discussed how Resilience is a necessary skill our modern age. He discussed how as part of the human race, we all have hoarding tendencies and that is OK. He explained how Trauma can develop into hoarding issues, and if not treated, can spiral into hoarding disorder.
It is recognised that an individual with hoarding behaviour that has spiralled out of control will need a range of services to support them. However in the UK, knowledge and awareness are shockingly low. Hoarding ruins lives and relationships. Many hoarding sufferers want help to overcome their problem. There is a serious lack of support to help those with a hoarding problem. There is still huge ignorance and shame attached to hoarding disorder.
The workshops explored key themes and issues in environmental health, the fire service, improving primary care pathways, housing support, legal safeguarding, and trauma support. The various groups came up with one key practical solution to work on in 2018.
The panel decided on two courses of action. To raise awareness in Doctor surgeries and health clinics about Hoarding Disorder. Practical steps were discussed and started on at the conference. The second goal was to improve the primary care pathways for sufferers, so they can receive help in a timely manner before the problem escalates out of control.
Find out more about hoardinguk here.
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