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Nacoa | The National Association for Children of Alcoholics | Event article

Nacoa at The Lowestoft Conference on ‘Mental Health in 2018’

We are delighted to announce that Nacoa will be presenting at the Lowestoft Conference on ‘Mental Health in 2018’. This large conference event based in the heart of the lovely seaside town in Norfolk will this year be focusing on PTSD, trauma and suicide.

The event will take place at the Lowestoft Community Church on Sat 3 February 2018, 09:30 – 16:00 GMT.

The event has been organised by Nacoa volunteer, mental health campaigner, and former mayor of Lowestoft, Tod Sullivan, who reflects that many of the issues touched upon by this event will resonate with children who have grown up as a child affected by parental alcohol problems.

Nacoa’s very own COAisathing.com blogger and online activist for COAs, Josh Connolly, will provide the key note talk for the event, speaking about his experience of both growing up as a child profoundly affected by parental alcohol issues and his slip into alcohol dependency as an adult. Josh has been a passionate advocate for COAs since his training as a Nacoa helpline counsellor.

As well as additional our contributions to speaker panels discussing our work, Nacoa will also be available with literature and leaflets. So please come and say hello!

For more information, and to book your place, please read on or head to the Eventbrite booking page.

The Lowestoft Conference – Mental Health in 2018 – PTSD, trauma, & suicide


Feedback Mental Health and Tod Sullivan the first Lowestoft Mental Health Ambassador present The Lowestoft Conference – the first annual conference on trauma informed practice, and the latest developments in mental health. We combine keynote speakers with breakout sessions, sharing from experts by experience, panel discussions with leaders in their fields, and the launch of new intiatives and activities.

Keynote Speakers

Dan Biddle a survivor of the 7/7 terror attacks in London, Dan subsequently battled profound physical injuries and now campaigns raising awareness of PTSD in civilians. He will share his story and discuss the impact of PTSD on his life, and the ways that he has coped, and been supported to cope with the challenges that he has faced.

Josh Connolly having grown up the child of an alcoholic (COA) Josh suffered first hand from the effects of childhood trauma, later facing his own battle with alcohol and mental ill health. Now renowned nationally as a blogger and vlogger, public speaker, and having helped inspire MP’s to launch the Manifesto for the Children of Alcoholics, he will share his story and the #coaisathing campaign.

Ivan Humble – former EDL member who one day approached a gathering of muslims and changed his life, Ivan is a Lowestoft man who campaigns accross Europe tackling radicalisation and the misrepresentation of a variety of faiths. He has recently faced the mental ill health which links to his past, and the way that he faces it today.

Panel Discussion on Trauma Informed Practice – a range of experts by experience and experts by practice will discuss the impact of, and the approaches to, trauma and trauma informed approaches. With questions from the audience, this should be a powerful session.

Breakout sessions

The Launch of the carers suicide prevention strategy

Paul Hammond in conversation with Steven Thompson, on PTSD and mens mental health

Suffolk Life Savers

Time to Change, share space and discuss your own mental health with people who have lived experience

Walk and talk – Lowestoft’s wellbeing approach, take a walk and get to know colleagues, and the area.

Autism and Trauma – a discussion on the effects of trauma in the impact of and approaches to autism

Other sessions are being added

Fringe Events

Around Lowestoft activities are taking place linked to the Lowestoft Conference including

Screening of Embrace, the increddible film on body image

Performance of The Response play at The Seagull Theatre

Screening of BBC3 documentary featuring Ivan Humble

Other wellbeing and positive mental health activities are being added

There will also be a range of stands, networking opportunities, and activites throughout the day.

Timetable (subject to change)

9.30 – 10.00 Registration and networking

10.00 – 10.15 Welcome from Lowestoft Mental Health Ambassador Tod Sullivan

10.15 – 11.15 Dan Biddle

11.15 – 12.15 Break and Breakout Sessions

12.15 – 13.00 Lunch and networking

13.00 – 14.00 Josh Connolly

14.00 – 15.00 Breakout Sessions and Break

15.00 – 16.00 Panel Discussion and close

To book, click here.