Mental health: what support is needed?

I have been thinking for some time now about trying to get back into my writing. I seemed to have got a block of some sort and every time I tried to write I didn’t know what I wanted to say.

I guess the best thing would be to start off from my last post in December 2019… however, if you know me you’ll know I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. I remember there being something about a pandemic?

It’s been almost 7 years now since ‘No Secrets’ ceased as a charity and I thought that part of my life was over. But recently, from speaking to different people about mental health, my passion to help people is growing.
There were many reasons I decided to quit No Secrets. When I was preparing to be discharged from community mental health team, I felt it was an important time to focus on myself and my recovery. For 10 years the thought of being discharged and not having that ‘professional’ safety net was terrifying. Now that it had come, I felt like I needed to take a step back from the whole mental health setting completely.

The main reason was exhaustion. I was struggling to keep up with myself. I was working every day. We started with me and my mum, and a support group in St Helens. By the time we registered as a charity a few years later, we had set up support groups in Wigan, Warrington & Halton. We also did group sessions for inpatients in Leigh. We were rolling out training for professionals and those working in health and/or mental health settings. It grew way too big for me to manage. And whilst we had some extremely valuable support from everyone on the committee, it just got too much.

In the first couple of years, it was nice to have more time on my hands and it helped me to focus on my own recovery journey. But every now and then it would creep back into my mind and I’d still have that passion for helping people.

I have changed so much in the last 7 years; I think now it’s my time to start something. I want to share with others, how I got through my urges to self harm. How I moved on from being so dependant upon services. How I embraced the one thing that I feared so much. How I survived it.

But I have no idea what to do or how to do it. An online support group is an idea I’ve been mulling over. That way, it doesn’t have to stay local and could reach many more people across the country.

If you have any ideas about how we can rewrite the narratives of self harm please let me know. What is it that we are missing? What is it that people need?

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