Leadership Program in Behavioral Health Hosts UK Mental Health Leader

Dr. Patrick Geoghegan, one of England’s premier leaders in the field of mental health.

07/28/2011: On July 13, the Yale Leadership Program in Behavioral Health hosted a talk by Dr. Patrick Geoghegan, one of England’s premier leaders in the field of mental health. The presentation, titled "Leading Healthcare Reform from the Front Line," was part of the program’s intensive yearlong curriculum geared at managers in Connecticut’s mental health and addiction systems. Selected students from Yale’s psychiatric residency and psychology programs also attended.

Dr. Geoghegan is the Chief Executive of a comprehensive system of behavioral health care in England known as the South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT). This is one of the largest and highest performing UK providers of health and social services for people with mental health problems. England’s National Health Service recently selected Dr. Geoghegan as its "Leader of the Year" from among its entire healthcare workforce.

Dr. Geoghegan has collaborated with Yale's School of Public Health and School of Management on an international healthcare management program for UK leaders, which is conducted both in the UK and here at Yale. He also has been a featured speaker at the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute's annual conference.

As a result of his interest in transformational change, Dr. Geoghegan has developed international links in America, Australia, New Zealand, Italy and other European countries and has recently been appointed to sit on the Steering Committee of the World Health Organization–European Commission Partnership Project for User Empowerment in Mental Health.

At the beginning of this educational event, Dr. Geoghegan led a group exercise designed to emphasize the discomfort involved with any type of change. After describing the SEPT organization, he outlined a series of principles and practices that have made the organization so strong. These included traditional leadership concepts such as creating a sense of shared values within a service organization and partnering with other provider organizations and the community. He moved beyond such concepts in discussing the art of leading by being mischievous, challenging norms, and breaking rules. His most provocative comments centered on a challenge to truly align organizations and their services to the needs, interests, and priorities of individuals being served. An extensive use of consumer "mystery shoppers" was one the intriguing strategies presented.

Dr. Michael Hoge, Yale Professor of Psychiatry (in Psychology) and Director of the Yale Leadership Program organized this event in recognition of the experience and vision that the speaker could share with participants. Dr. Hoge, along with Dr. William Sledge and others from the Yale community, have visited SEPT to learn first hand about its exemplary practices.

The lead instructor for the Yale Leadership Program in Behavioral Health is Dr. David Berg, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and an expert on organization management and development. In addition to the knowledge imparted by Dr. Berg, the Leadership Program serves to create a safe, reflective setting in which the managers who participate can receive professional support and peer consultation through regular interaction with others who are in similar roles and face similar challenges.

The program is supported by the Connecticut Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant, managed by Yale Behavioral Health, and endorsed by the state’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), Department of Children and Families (DCF), and Court Support Services Division (CSSD).

For further information about the Leadership Program and a related initiative on developing the competencies of supervisors, contact Michael Hoge at michael.hoge@yale.edu or 203-785-5629.