This evening I had the pleasure to attend the first Lunar21 of 2017 event at the Silk Mill Museum of Making in Derby. We had an excellent panel drawn from Derby and Nottingham’s diverse health and social care landscape, including the Chair of the Southern Derbyshire CCG, Dr Paul Wood and Professor of Mental Health and Social Care, Justine Schneider.The evening comprised of taking comments and questions from the floor, including those submitted in advance from people not able to attend on the evening.The timing was also particularly fortuitous as I have also recently been accepted onto an MSc for Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion. I have had a chance to experience some amazing learning and my horizons about just what work I might do in the future are beginning to open up.
One thing that was particularly important to me was standing up in front of a room full of strangers and talking about being really ill, including feeling suicidal when I was in the Crisis House in Derby last month. Although I have spoken about the topic to close friends and even acquaintances I have shied away from doing the same here on my blog in case people get the wrong impression. I suppose it is a hang up from my agency days when emotional ill health was considered a weakness and in many cases was preyed upon by the more fortunate, or simply more selfish. It was very empowering describing what had happened to people and one of the panel commented on my contributions that evening and said how important it was for people to talk about their experiences in mental health. She gave the example of how maternity services have improved because of women campaigning for better provision by telling their stories and the same needs to be done for this under-explored area.
I’ve spent so long trying to work out just what the hell I want to do or even can do that to have everything seemingly falling into place the way it is feels a bit weird. it is good to know that there is value in my experience and that I should be able to use it for the greater good. Like I said in my personal statement. I want to get better and thrive and help others like me get better and thrive in the best way possible.
The focus of my blog is going to slowly include more of my mental health experience in the future and also the work I am doing for my course and volunteering.
I have a lot more hope for the future and also faith in myself that I have for a long while.