What’s it about?

A three day gathering to explore a radical shift in the mental health conversation.

Who’s it for?

Anyone curious about a fresh approach, including people and families with personal experience of mental distress, frontline staff, commissioners, managers, clinicians, policymakers and Third Sector staff.

Who’s speaking?

Our influential speakers and facilitators are passionate about transforming mental health and changing the scriptAll believe that with the right support recovery from mental illness can happen and crisis can be a transformative process.

Coming Home to Ourselves 25-28 Sep, Ammerdown Centre, Somerset

Coming Home to Ourselves is a three day gathering  to explore alternative approaches for living and working with mental distress – set in the Ammerdown Retreat Centre in the heart of beautiful Somerset countryside. Arrive on Sunday afternoon, and leave after lunch on Wednesday – refreshed, recharged and having reconnected to our growing community.

The programme builds on on our core themes of connection, community and compassionate systems change.

Together we’ll explore new ways of thinking about service provision, and how we care for ourselves and each other within our families, communities and workplaces. We’ll be moving away from labels that frame mental distress as disorders for life, and towards safe, healing mental health services that people want to use when they are in crisis.

Register Today and join us in changing the conversation around mental illness, challenging stigma and raising expectations.

Feedback from Past Attendees

“A beacon for sanity and genuine healing.”

“I was blown away. It surpassed any expectations. It was so affirming, inspiring and helpful.”

“This event has given me hope for psychiatric services in the future.”

“Succeeded in bringing together professionals, experts and everyday folk in a way where the reality of human experience was revealed, shared and honoured, and those who suffer were given tools that help.”

Speakers & Facilitators

Our speakers and facilitators are passionate about transforming mental health and changing the script. All believe that with the right support recovery from mental illness can happen and a mental health crisis can be a transformative process. New Speakers are joined by core Compassionate mental health team members.


The Ammerdown Centre, Ammerdown Park, Radstock, Somerset BA3 5SW

The Ammerdown Retreat Centre is set in the heart of beautiful Somerset countryside, just 12 miles south of Bath and 16 miles from Bristol. A sanctuary of peace away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Ammerdown nestles in the grounds of Ammerdown Park, with opportunities to relax in the garden or wander further afield through woodland and open countryside. Find out more >

What to Expect

Join us for three days of live discussion, keynotes and Q&A and workshops. Happening online with plenty of opportunities for networking and participation.

Grow your understanding how to create structures and spaces that enable safe expression of difficulty – boosting your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your teams, families and communities.

Our programme will be a mix of keynotes and experiential sessions, talks and a chance to exchange ideas, lessons learned and best practices. Although this is an online event, there will be plenty of opportunities for participation and reflection.

In this online gathering, we’ll begin anew, and look for balance, with compassion. We’ll weave embodied practices together with a curated group of practitioners and scientists who will offer practices and ideas that can help with difficult questions:

  • How can we see mental health as community and cultural practice rather than in individual one?
  • What does it mean to create psychological safety for ourselves  and others?
  • How can we develop community of practice and reflective culture?
  • How can we see mental health as an art, a matter of dealing artfully with intricate and unique individual patterns of ‘reactivity’?
  • How can curiosity and patience act as remedies in a time of uncertainty?

Our full programme for September 2022 is coming soon. See our programme from a past event to get a flavour

View and download the full day programme for 11 Nov 2019 [PDF 1mb], including workshop information, venue details and more…

About Compassionate Mental Health

This programme is part of Compassionate Mental Health’s larger work to call for a more integrative approach to mental healthcare – one that relies less on diagnosis and prescription drugs, and more on empowering the person, communities and social networks. At the heart of the project is a belief that it is possible to begin to heal oneself and others through the power of community, connection, self care and solidarity.

As with all Compassionate Mental Health events, we are calling for a more compassionate, trauma informed approach to mental distress. Ultimately we hope to work with others to inspire alternatives, with safe, healing mental health services that people want to use when they are in crisis.

A key message of all Compassionate Mental Health events is choice not coercion – compassion not control, and the understanding that a mental health crisis can become a meaningful turning point and catalyst for change. Along with many other critical voices – we are calling for a radical shift in the way we understand mental health, changing the script, challenging stigma and raising expectations. Find out more about Compassionate Mental Health and our work and people.

What do people say about our events?

“Exceptional. The fact people had travelled from far and wide shows the high regard the event was held in, and also the pressing need to change and the delivery of compassionate mental health services.”

“Above all people were able to release shame , guilt and silence around their stories and to find like minded community.”

“Such a blessing. An oasis. I felt privileged to be a part of it. Beautifully organised, to the last detail. The professional delivery of the event was outstanding and the supporting literature of excellent quality.”

“You have created a unique and invaluable contribution to the future of mental health. My daughter took her own life two years ago. I believe if either she or I had had access to the material and the diverse community you have put together, there could have been a very different outcome.”

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