I do lots of different involvement activities that help me a lot, and in this blog I will explain a bit more…
I work on the wards (at Ealing hospital) with inpatients. We discuss their food, their bedrooms and the care they receive. This is peer support and it helps the patients. I think when I see patients reaching out, we can inform them about things and if needed speak with managers and staff about any issues. Doing this work makes me feel empowered and that I’m helping the inpatients.
When the patients see an ex-patient coming in to do the community meetings, it helps them see they can get better like I have. It is inspiring for them to see there is a future with better mental health.
I also lead the Rainbow Club as the chair person, I reassure service users, organise activities and make sure the weekly session runs smoothly. I see them all as my close friends. In the community I have to be careful who I make friends with, but at the Rainbow Club I really trust them and I can let my defences down.
I also go to other meetings in the West London Mental Health Trust as a service user representative. When I’m at these meetings I feel valued as an expert by experience, and I’m listened too.
My latest involvement is with Ealing Mind on the HeadsUp Project, which started in 2016. All the staff in Mind have taught me how to be a good peer support worker, and they work very hard to keep involvement going in Ealing.
This involvement is all part of my rehabilitation, and my life would not be the same without it.