Over many years I have suffered mental health problems, I have had an awful lot of problems with chronic pain and a very unpleasant family who had little or no interest in a condition that in some instances with the condition I found myself in.
After hours of talking therapy pysiotherapy, in a mental health environment , I was offered various NHS courses and Health Groups. I was discharged from the Mental Health Service and was advised to get a small dog and join A Mental Health Day Centre in the town that I lived in, this I did and within the centre they opened up a little shop where information for those who had problems could come in and ask questions etc about their condition (s) This was my position.
My dog would sit on my knee while in the shop and would help too break the ice when people came into the shop.
Our members were a mixed batch many with depression, Anxiety, and duel personality withe a splattering of paranoia and associated problems Generally speaking the members got on well, you find that people with mental health problems have no real problems with each other, they can become, friendly and responsive to other members conditions, and eventually the centre is a charity now still provides people who can help them with their problems associated with their disability.
Day trips were organised and a further was supplied where they would go out together on some Friday nights.
The members all got on well and eventually their conditions generally became accepted by all and they seem to not really talk about their conditions and if something is wrong would chat to a person they would trust.
What I am saying here really is if there are any of these centres in your areas it is a very good idea to get yourself on their books it prevents us all from festering and not functioning at home and allows us to get involved in a centre of people with like minded problems. It also assists in the mixing of people who become reclusive and unable to enter into Society. where they can have a coffee, biscuit even have their lunch it is win win all around.
These centres are not institutionalised if you need someone to listen to your problems they are there. Mind if you go on a bit they soon tell you to give it a rest.
Me I moved away from the centre not before joining my Doctors Participation Group, I also joined Link a closed think tank that now does not exist. Now I am a member of Healthwatch, waiting to see what I can do in that organization.
My interests now are mental health and Dementia,I still visit my old centre have a cup of coffee and a chat, they still send birthday cards and I miss the banter because I am still so far away from them now as yes we all move on Now
I hope to join my new doctors Patient Participation Group and when all is settled will get involved in Healthwatch when they get the new system up and running.
Is this challenging, no is it fun , yes. Why do I do it well we meet nice people I learn and it takes my mind of the conditions that I suffer from