Joan Langan obituary

Joan Langan, Mental Health Act Commissioner, who has died aged 60

Joan Langan aided to pioneer the involvement of mental health service end users in drawing up their personal management programmes

The job of my colleague Joan Langan, who has died aged 60 of leukaemia, was shaped by two passions: bettering the treatment method of individuals with psychological well being issues and social research.

One particular of her biggest contributions was a 1999 review, with Viv Lindow, that aided to pioneer the involvement of psychological well being support end users in drawing up their personal chance evaluation and management programmes. At the time really handful of folks with mental sickness had been involved in deciding on chance management strategies that could be applied after they were discharged from psychiatric treatment method – even though they straight impacted their lives.

Joan also created waves as 1 of the handful of social staff to turn out to be a Psychological Well being Act commissioner. In that role she grew to become keenly aware of the restrictions positioned on people who are judged to lack the mental capacity to consider decisions for themselves: she was established to get funding to discover how the controversial “deprivation of liberty safeguards” added two years following the passing of the Psychological Capability Act 2005 would have an effect on such people’s lives. She managed to get study on the subject beneath way prior to she was diagnosed with leukaemia in October 2012.

Joan was born in Birmingham to Kathleen, a nurse, and Martin, a bus driver, but grew up in Corby, Northamptonshire. She gained a degree in social anthropology from Manchester University in the early 1970s and trained as a social worker at the University of East Anglia, qualifying in 1978.

She took a work as a mental wellness social employee at Norwich city council from 1978 to 1985, later on transferring into a investigation part. In 1989 she moved to Bristol to join the university’s Norah Fry Study Centre and to investigate the provision of health companies to folks with understanding disabilities. She relished carrying out research that could make a distinction to policy and practice – each there and, later on, at Bristol University’s college for sophisticated urban research and its school for policy research.

Outdoors work, Joan had a huge circle of friends with whom she pursued her varied interests – music, cinema, coastal walking and open-air swimming in the sea off the Pembrokeshire coast or in Bristol’s Henleaze lake. She cared about fashion – the fashions of the 50s especially – and searched out vintage garments from charity outlets, adapting them to fit her petite frame.

She managed the restrictions of lifestyle post-leukaemia by studying voraciously – novels of all types and, in forensic detail – specifically when she was in hospital – the Guardian. She met the issues of her condition with characteristic tenacity. In May 2013 she married David Humphreys, a welfare advantages adviser and trainer, with the wedding ceremony taking location in the higher dependency unit at Bristol Royal Infirmary. They had been together for ten years, having met at a music gig.

Joan is survived by David, her youngsters Adrian, from her 1st marriage, and Fionnuala, from yet another connection, her grandchildren, Jacob, Dylan and Theo, her mother, Kathleen, and sister Maggie.

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