No decisions about you, without you.
I’m Beth Marston, I’m newly appointed into the Mental Health Concern family. As the Engagement Worker for Northumberland, I am going to be working across the County to find out about your views on mental health services and how you want the new mental health service to look going forward. My previous job roles have been varied but I have had a personal love of working within Mental Health, and I am very excited to be working with the Recovery College and Community Mental Health Transformations to help to make accessing and using mental health services easier, better and with greater outcomes for you all! I thought before I start asking you all questions, you might like to know a bit about me.
Before starting my role with mental health concern, I had been working across the North East as a support worker. Due to travelling between many different support services I had been made increasingly aware of the impact that mental health has on people and the direct impact it has on multiple factors in people lives. Many of the people that I supported had self-harmed, attempted suicide, had historic or continued addiction issues, were often in precarious housing situations or had at some point been homeless, had little access to material possessions and many found it hard to reach out to access help. I also noticed time and time again that with the correct support and the hard work of services there was chance for real change in people’s lives, but things such as hospitalisation, not knowing how to access support and long waiting times could create continued challenges and setbacks for people trying to recover.
From my own personal life I was aware of the changing conversation surrounding mental health and the decrease of stigma linked to discussing it, but I also knew that many of the people who suffer with complex mental health were often not included in these conversations and that their voices needed to be heard. When I saw the job offer to be involved with the Community Mental Health Transformation, (which is setting up the new system for mental health services) that actually worked with a person-centred approach and co-production at the heart of it, I knew I wanted to be there. Since starting I have been made aware of so much brilliant work already happen within Northumberland and the exciting projects that have come from the heart of communities to support people.
To help the project to reflect what is happening in communities, and truly support the needs of each area of Northumberland, we need to have your views on mental health services. My job role within the Community Mental Health Transformation is to get you all talking about what is important for you, your experiences and what you think would help to make the system work better for your needs. Which is why I am sending out a call for an open conversation to start happening, without having your voices in the Community Mental Health Transformation then nothing can really change for the better.
To find out more about Community Mental Health Transformation see the Rethink Mental Illness document below:
Beth is running virtual coffee meet ups via Microsoft Teams on Tuesdays at 10am and Thursdays 2pm, you can also contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org
I created little pigeon characters I had based off of my moods and began to create illustrations with them... I also began to use the pigeons as a way to help me remember self care affirmations and advice, which has since become my regular series “Crumbs of Wisdom”, uploaded to my website and social media every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.