I found my own creativity by chance: I started drawing in December 2011 after reaching a crisis point in my mental health and being told that I would always be "ill, medicated and never work again" by a "professional" who was in charge of my care. I started painting soon after and now use art to free my mind and support my wellbeing. Having discovered a previously hidden talent, I can only now fully appreciate the true therapeutic power of creativity.
All of the above is underpinned by the following convictions:
Recovery in mental health does not necessarily mean recovered.
Recovery will mean different things to different people, hence the message should focus on living the best life we can, today.
This may sometimes mean living with the labels or being medicated but it never means giving up; just trying again tomorrow.
Fully qualified Knowledge and Understanding Framework (KUF) trainer/facilitator providing sessions across the Midlands and West Yorkshire and Humber region
KUF is co-developed, co-produced and co-delivered training that focuses on working compassionately and effectively with people who identify as having complex emotional needs/personality difficulties/personality disorder.
KUF Courses available include:
3-day Multi-Agency including; NHS mental health, social care, Charities, VCFSE, housing and anyone working in or with people with complex emotional needs//personality disorder/mental health issues.
2-day OPD/Criminal Justice; Forensic Mental Health, Police, Probation and Prison staff
Awareness/training sessions include :
Stepping up to inclusion - an interactive, thought provoking introduction to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) awareness
Mental Health Awareness - Talking candidly about mental health and why we need to talk about it more to reduce the stigma.
Social Prescribing - What is it and why it might help people might feel the benefit of a social prescription or the use of a link worker.
Hear my voice - Empowering patient voice, supporting safe and effective storytelling.
Suicide awareness and prevention - Openly discussing suicide and offering more trauma informed ways to speak about it. Helping to reduce stigma.
Using Creative approaches for health and wellbeing - Supporting the use of creativity for all. Supporting staff to stay well through creative approaches.
Peer Support - Supporting lived experience both internal and external to the NHS and why it is so important we value people with lived experience
From Patient to Peer Leader - Looking at a persons journey and allowing their story to be told, but then to be used for progress to the systems.
Recovery and hope in mental health - from surviving to thriving, what recovery means and how we can promote people to live a life worth living.
Neurodiversity and mental health - What is the difference? How we can support people with their diagnosis
What's in a label? - Looking beyond the diagnosis, see the person first and the diagnosis second. How important it is to look holistically at people.
Report on the effects of being bereaved by suicide on children and young people
Self Harm (co-produced leaflet)
Report on Social Prescribing from birth to 25
Talks and Discussions
I am available for public speaking, engagements of various sizes, below is a range of topics I have given talks on previously.
Recovery - what does it mean in mental health?
Creativity for health and wellbeing
Service user voice being heard