Living with mental illness can be very isolating, it eats away at your confidence and robs you of your identity. Although therapy and or medication can help, they only go so far, and sadly with the state of NHS Mental Health services many of us with mental illness feel let down…
At Trowbridge Services Users Group we believe that social activities are important as a part of recovery. By attending the group, you get involved in activities but more important you build a network of like-minded people. Even more than that you build a support network that can help overcome the difficulties living with a mental illness brings.
Most people don’t understand that doing the most basic things like going for a coffee can invoke feeling of such dreed and fear that people with mental illness stop doing things. This is understandable as a form of self-protect but it isolates. Although there are group that are designed for social inclusion but are often time limited and can only be accessed if under the Mental Health Team (MHT).
At Trowbridge Service Users Group know the importance of having somewhere to go when you’re not feeling at your best, or don’t want to feel alone or just want to get outside. We also that people with mental health problems are very supportive to each other and can challenge each other to push the boundaries. So, when possible we try to plan social things outside the group times.
For those that live with mental illness making plans can invoke a myriad of feelings so don’t make plans and when do will often cancel leading to not being asked, this creates a bigger gap between the world of mental illness and the world outside of the illness.
As peers to each other we understand the problems faced but together we overcome them, we can be truly honest with each other and support each other better. The shame felt because of cancelling is removed because we understand and more likely to make adaptations for each other.
Before Christmas we did have a few social meet ups and since then group members have been making their own arrangements. But during June and maybe beyond we are making an extra special attempt to do social things outside the group setting.
So, we are at the Community Hub in the Shires to talk to those that walk in about Trowbridge Service Users Group and as a meeting point for Group members to meet for social engagements i.e. a coffee in spoons.