Who Am I?

£5.00

By The Collective Imagination of Richmond Borough Mind

ISBN: 978-1-84991-633-2
Published: 2012
Pages: 65
Key Themes: Mental Health, Community, Empowerment, Peer Support

Description

Mental health has long been the Cinderella of the NHS. Patients and their carers are often embarrassed by the symptoms of mental illness. Clinicians rarely attract the glamour of brain or heart surgeons, or cancer specialists. Mental health nursing does not have the Florence Nightingale image. The public do not campaign and demonstrate for mental health wards in a way that they do for A&E wards or maternity units.

I have long had a close personal interest in mental health issues. My early teenage years were overshadowed by the hospitalisation of my mother for mental illness: what would now be called post-natal depression and dealt with in other ways. As a student I nursed the elderly mentally ill (in one of the more enlightened institutions) and met my late wife who was nursing on the children’s ward.

I have tried as Twickenham MP, to promote mental health issues and to work with voluntary groups, carers and patients to improve local services. I am delighted that Richmond Borough MIND has been able to take this initiative to promote the creative work of its groups.

the Rt. Hon Dr. Vincent Cable, M.P.

Richmond Borough Mind Peer Support “Empowering people to run groups”

The people’s network aims to enable, empower and involve individuals regardless of their mental health to participate in or run peer led groups, to be active and flourish in their community.

In March 2010, Richmond Borough Mind received funding from Lloyds TSB foundation to commence a Peer Support training programme. To date we have 10 Peer Support Volunteers facilitating several groups throughout the Richmond Borough. The groups provide a non-judgemental safe social space that contributes to your well being. They all have one thing in common, they are run by people who themselves have an experience of mental distress.

This book demonstrates how our Peer Support, Mind Readers Group has and continues to contribute to our members well being.

I feel honoured to work with such wonderful and caring Peer Volunteers.

Claire Blackburn Peer Volunteer Officer

Book Extract

Waiting To Jump

The boxes lay empty. My mind in a muddle. Who waves the fan that scatters my memories? Thoughts spinning round like leaves on a breeze. They come to rest, only to be blown away once more. I try to catch them, to pin them down, but they fall through my fingers like grains of sand. I cannot reach them as they travel through my mind. They settle for a second, I catch a glimpse of the past and then it is gone. I try to sleep at night, but my mind does not rest. The memories fly past my eyes like birds past an open window. Yet the birds are free, they can escape, but my memories remain locked away, imprisoned forever in my mind. They cannot escape, just like me. No matter how hard I try, I can never reach these birds. I can never catch them and lock them away inside. Their freedom is out of my grasp. I lean out of the open window trying to reach their freedom, trying to escape. I don’t feel the fear of losing my grip, because I have nothing to hold on to anyway. I stand on the ledge, watching the birds, wanting to join them in their flight of freedom, but I don’t jump, too afraid that I might land on the ground back where I started, surrounded by memories. I know that one day when the memories start to swallow me up, I will stand on the window ledge, and when the birds call out to me, I will jump off the edge, and I will fly with them to freedom. A place where my memories can’t reach me. But for now, I watch them fly past every day into the clear blue sky. I sit patiently on the window ledge, waiting for the birds to call me, holding on to nothing, waiting to jump.


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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 26 January, 2012.