Peter has been diagnosed with a severe mental health condition that could be extremely debilitating. But his story shows that providing people with individual choices, life skills coaching opportunities, and mentoring support as they make decisions, really can help them recover their wellbeing and lead more fulfilling lives.
In 2011 I was working as an employment specialist within a community mental health team under NAViGO Health and Social Care formerly the NHS. Peter was suffering from long term reactive depression and under the care of his care co-ordinator and myself for the majority of the following year or so, Peter was disengaged from mental health services and any intervention failed to get him involved in meaningful activities.
This dramatically changed when I became employed by Voluntary Action North East Lincolnshire (VANEL) as the Mental Health Development Worker for the Mind Works Project. The purpose of Mind Works is to provide voluntary opportunities as a pathway to employment, working in partnership with a multi-agency network.
Partnerships included, Grimsby, Cleethorpes & District MIND, where together we support those in Primary Care people suffering from common mental health conditions.
Since Peter was contacted under the Mind Works programme, he has been fully engaged with our wide range of services since, Peter has been on a very long journey attempting to find the motivation and confidence to get out of his home and engage in the community.
Within days of engaging with us Peter was assigned a Mentor for weekly 1:1 sessions, enrolled in our weekly Wellbeing Skills Group workshops and later our newly formed Creative Arts group. These workshops are held at the Mind centre in Kent Street thanks to our close working relationship with Martin Skelton the manager of Mind.
Peter’s very first meaningful activity was volunteering with other Mind Works service users, to help us refurbish the Group room formerly the function room of the old Kent Arms now occupied by Mind. This was quickly followed by regular attendance to both of our Group workshops and within a few months he accepted a volunteering opportunity as a kitchen assistant working two days per week in a busy kitchen.
This was Peter’s first meaningful activity in many years and recently has been involved in the community four days a week which is such a huge progress in his recovery compared to no social contact in previous years.
Recent developments includes Mind Works service users and mentors helping Peter in his consideration of moving home with support given in viewing new premises and help being offered in the removals. This has given Peter a feeling of immense hope, purpose in his life, work responsibilities and for the first time a social network of friends.