Mental Health Specialist Group - 2024 Study Day

Hosted by Mental Health Specialist Group

Last chance to book - registration closes at 4.30pm Tuesday 18 June

Elevate Your Expertise and Build Connections at the 2024 BDA Mental Health Specialist Group Study Day! 

With a packed agenda including topics from Forensics, Eating Disorders, Learning Disabilities and Mental Health, you can gain knowledge and updates in best practice across a range of specialisms suited to your practice area and interests.

Network with peers across various specialisms, breaking down silos and connecting over common threads that unite us as a mental health dietetic workforce.

Enhance your knowledge and confidence in non-clinical topics including facilitating Practice Based Learning (placements) and undertaking research and evaluation.

  • Perspectives on weight in mental health session
    • New approaches in weight management with Dr Amanda Avery
    • Bariatrics & mental health considerations with Ness Osborne
    • Psychological Perspectives with Ursula Philpot

  • Mental health and diet: Lived experience perspective with Marsha McAdam
  • Dietetic practice based learning in mental health, learning disabilities and eating disorders with Steph Sloan
  • Assessment and Nutritional Approaches to IBS in patients at risk or diagnosed with Eating Disorders with Nick Trott
  • ARFID session with Clare Ellison
  • Capacity / best interest decision making with Briony Caffrey 
  • Nutritional Screening in Mental Health with Emma Cooper and Hannah Style
  • Mealtime Support in an Eating Disorder Inpatient Setting with Helen West
  • Inpatient Mental Health Catering with Amy Pratt
  • The ketogenic diet for bipolar disorder: evidence update with potential implications for future practice with Helen Grossi


Dr Amanda Avery, Associate Professor in Nutrition & Dietetics, Programme lead, University of Nottingham and Consultant dietitian in weight management, Nutrition, Research & health Policy, Slimming World will present New approaches in weight management.

Amanda's session will provide an overview of current and emerging approaches to weight management.

We will look at the current state of the Tiered approach, evidence supporting the use of digital technology and the emergence of the GLP1-Ras and the plans for role out. Throughout there will be an emphasis on reducing health inequalities and ensuring services are accessible to the vulnerable.

Amanda was Chair of the Obesity Specialist group of the BDA from 2018 – 2023 and in this role worked closed with the BDA and DHSC to work on a document ‘what does good look like in obesity management’. Still very actively involved in the group, she contributes to responses to national consultations and is currently developing a national training programme for dietitians new to the field of obesity management. She sits on the NICE committee updating the Maternal & Child Nutrition guidelines having extensive research experience in the area of weight management during pregnancy. Because of her affiliation with Slimming World, she has good knowledge of the proposals to increase digital delivery of weight management services and also the proposed role out of GLP1 agonists in primary care settings.

Ness Osborne, Senior Specialist Dietitian in Bariatrics and Weight Management, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust will present Bariatrics & mental health considerations

This session will provide an overview of mental health considerations within the bariatric journey.

With 11 years clinical experience within weight management and bariatric services, Ness now works as a Senior Specialist Dietitian within the high-volume bariatric unit of Sunderland Royal Hospital. She is the training and education officer and bariatric liaison for the obesity specialist group of the BDA, and more recently become the dietetic representative on the council of the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society. 

Ness has a passion for psychology and has always advocated for mental health to be on the agenda within the field of obesity management.

Ursula Philpot, Senior lecturer, Leeds Beckett University, Clinical Associate for NHS England and consultant Dietitian @Insighteating will present Psychological Approaches in Binge Eating Disorder

Ursula is a consultant dietician and senior lecturer specialising in eating disorders, disordered eating, mental health and autism.  She has a clinic for eating problems in Leeds, works in complex mental health in Bradford and  is a Clinical lead for Children and Young People’s Eating Disorders NEYMH Team. She is especially interested in producing guidelines, pathways, and consensus statement within the area of eating disorders and mental health.

The session summarises the evidence based for treatment of BED including new and novel treatments. It discusses emerging treatments inclusive of  neurodiversity and Type 2 DM, and considers the RD role in psychological treatments.

Steph Sloan, Senior Lecturer in Dietetics, Teesside University will present Dietetic practice based learning in mental health, learning disabilities and eating disorders

Steph is a Senior Lecturer in Dietetics at Teesside University and Specialist Eating Disorders Dietitian within Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. She is also the Chair of the BDA Mental Health Specialist Group. Steph is passionate about pre and post registration dietetic education including creating supportive practice based learning environments and the expansion of PBL as an essential driver of future workforce capacity.

This session aims to encourage and support dietitians within mental health, eating disorders and learning disabilities to become involved in dietetic practice based learning within their specialisms. Where delegates are not currently offering PBL, Steph will offer suggestions as to why this may be of benefit to your service and the future workforce as well as tips for getting started. Where delegates are already providing PBL, they will be supported to reflect upon their current provision and potential opportunities to further their own development as a practice educator. 

Nick Trott, Gastroenterology Dietitian, Sheffield Gastroenterology will present Assessment and Nutritional Approaches to IBS in patients at risk or diagnosed with Eating Disorders

Nick is a gastroenterology dietitian at the Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield. His areas of research and clinical interest include coeliac disease, gluten ataxia and DGBI’s. Nick is currently pursuing a PhD on the role of the Dietitian in the management of Coeliac Disease.

Nick's talk is focused on the emerging evidence to indicate a ‘bi-directional relationship’ between eating disorders and DGBI’s. Nick will explore the current theories as to how these conditions intersect, assessment techniques, considerations for the application of dietary therapies, and current research gaps.

Clare Ellison, Advanced Eating Disorders Dietitian and ARFID Project Lead with North East and North Cumbria Provider Collaborative , Cumbria Northumberland Tyne and Wear (CNTW) NHS FT & North East and North Cumbria Provider Collaborative will present Leading the way in ARFID practice

Clare is Advanced Eating Disorders Dietitian and ARFID Project Lead for the North East and North Cumbria Provider Collaborative, BDA ARFID SIG committee member and BEAT Clinical Advisor.  

Clare's talk will provide an overview of how the dietetic workforce and dietetic practice has evolved over time to meet the needs of those with ARFID. How we’re responding to these challenges as a dynamic workforce and pioneering developments to support dietetic practice and our members. 

Briony Caffrey, Trainee Advanced Practitioner in Learning Disabilities, Cornwall Foundation Trust will present Capacity assessments for diet, weight and health

Briony is a dietitian who is passionate about health equity for the learning disability population.

Briony's talk will explore the role of the dietitian in completing diet relating capacity assessments. Who, when, how and why.

Helen West, Eating Disorders Dietitian, King's College London and THIS Institute Clinical PhD Fellow, Elysium Healthcare will present  Mealtime Support in an Eating Disorder Inpatient Setting

An overview of:

  • The challenges at mealtimes for people with EDs
  • Current best practice and evidence base
  • My research project and rationale for the parallel co-design process
  • Practical strategies for creating supportive mealtimes.

Helen is the Lead Dietitian at a 16-bed child and adolescent eating disorder unit in Brighton. She was awarded a Clinical PhD Fellowship by The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute (University of Cambridge) which she has held at King’s College London since February 2023.

Helen Grossi, Ketogenic Dietitian, NHS Lothian/University of Edinburgh will present The use of a ketogenic diet for Bipolar Disorder:  a pilot study. Evidence update & implications for practice

Helen is a Paediatric Dietitian based in Scotland for nearly 30 years, much of that time in the use of the Ketogenic Diet. For the last 2 years she has been working on a Pilot research study on the use of the Ketogenic Diet in Bipolar Disorder.

Helen's talk will cover an overview of Pilot Study published 2023, review of current evidence of use of Ketogenic diet in bipolar disorder and other serious mental illnesses and ongoing implications for practice.

Emma Cooper, Specialist Forensic Community Dietitian, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Hannah Style RD, Professional Development Lead Dietitian, East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) will present Nutritional Screening in Mental health

Emma has worked in mental health for the past 10 years. Working on inpatient wards covering general Mental health, Personality disorder, Autism and Learning Disability. Emma worked across Medium secure, low secure, locked and rehab wards which led to her Chairing the National Forensic Dietetic Forum (soon to become an official subgroup of the Mental health specialist group). The majority of Emma’s career has been working for St Andrews Healthcare, using SANSI (St Andrews Nutrition Screening Instrument). Emma more recently started working for Derbyshire Community Forensic Mental health team. This has provided a valuable insight into how people adjust from prolonged inpatient admissions to living in the community and the impact this can have on their knowledge, skills, nutritional intake and overall health.

Hannah has based her dietetic career on working with vulnerable groups. She is the Founder and Research Dietitian for FEAST With Us (FEAST), a growing food poverty charity based in London, and is also the Professional Development Lead Dietitian for East London Foundation Trust, a large mental health trust. She clinically specialises in Learning Disabilities and Mental Health, and is conducting research in partnership with University College London exploring the nutrition status of homeless people residing in temporary accommodation.  

Emma and Hannah will present on the topic on Nutritional screening in Mental health, sharing the results of a recent survey of members of the National Forensic Dietetic Forum. We will look at the use of Nutritional screening, how this is being adapted in Mental health and think about where we need to go next. 

Marsha McAdam, Independent mental health consultant will present Mental health and diet: Lived experience perspective

Marsha is an Expert by Experience, influencer and ambassador, she is committed to bringing about positive change within the mental health sector.

Her session provides a lived experience insight as to how living with a mental health condition affects diet and weight and how dietitians can best support. 

Amy Pratt, Principal Dietitian, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will present Inpatient Mental Health Catering. More details to follow soon


Early bird rate is now closed. 

  • BDA Mental Health Specialist Group Member £150.00
  • BDA Member £180.00
  • Non Member £210
  • BDA Student Member £50

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