Doreen’s story

Kevins Story

I came to the Wellbeing Network at a time when I was recovering from a stroke, and had been living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia for many years. This was my first experience of working with a group, where service users, carers, mental health professionals, GPs, and members from the voluntary sector all had equal value at all stages of designing the project.

It was very interesting and sometimes challenging, but overall a very inspiring and exciting process. I learnt a lot: I honed my management and decision-making skills, I was encouraged to use my writing skills, and (don’t laugh) I even learnt knitting!

We co-produced a knitting project – a wall-hanging with the initials WSIC (Whole Systems Integrated Care) and WBN (Wellbeing Network) in an explosion of colours, which had significant meanings to each one of us.

I hope others can expect the best kind of involvement, led and directed by themselves and supported by others in the network, whether Wellbeing Partners, professionals or other members.

I believe there is life after mental illness, a good quality and fulfilling life. I’m excited to meet new members of the Wellbeing Network, and look forward to see how the network develops and grows.

I believe good things are coming. Why not connect with us and be part of our story?

Kevin’s story

Kevins Story

When I was invited to be part of the working group for the Wellbeing Network, I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about! But I decided to come along anyway, because I think it’s always worth trying something different.

At the first meeting, when we first heard about the mapping tool, it made a bit more sense. But what I didn’t realise at the time is that I think I joined the working group in order to become part of the network itself.

As a member of the group I had a voice and I felt like I was being listened to, and the co-productive element allowed me to learn new skills, like managing and chairing meetings and writing notes, working on job descriptions and interviews, and all sorts of stuff.

These skills are transferrable to my job as a peer support worker, dealing with people at all levels involved with treatment and recovery in the community.

Being part of the wellbeing network has enhanced my life, and I believe it can help us to move towards prevention, rather than cure, when it comes to mental health, and wouldn’t that be brilliant!

Phil’s story

Kevins Story

As a long-time user of mental health services, I have learnt that there’s a lot you do to help yourself. Like a lot of people dealing with mental health, I experienced social isolation and thought I had to do everything myself.

I started by joining a book club, which helped me meet a new group of people. When I was told about the working group, I knew this was the kind of thing that would help people with long-term mental health conditions. The Wellbeing Network helped me to reconnect with the community and get involved with local activities.

It’s important not only to get out there and connect with others, but you also need to give something back. You need to use your own skills to help your community to grow, and this is what made the Wellbeing Network exciting for me.

I’ve been with the group for 15 months now and it’s been a great journey. But now it’s getting really exciting!