Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

Need a radical approach to promotion

Idea from experts by experience

Please add your story below:

Lynnette Leman 9 months ago

Status label added: Decision makers

Reply

Lynnette Leman 8 months ago

Status label added: 9. Uniting across boundaries

Reply

Debs Taylor 7 months ago

Having had mental health issues form the age of 8, it was all I had known. I was used to people making decisions and organising my life. If you have never experienced anything else, then you never know there is anything else out there. I reached crisis point in 2011. As part of the treatment I was referred to psychological services. While waiting for the assessment I saw a leaflet, Creative Minds ‘Art for wellbeing’ I had never done art before so do not know why I picked the leaflet up, but I did and rang the number. I was invited to a taster session at Artworks (which was just around the corner from where I lived, so I had no excuse not to go!)
I turned up to the artworks and as soon as I started drawing I was hooked. The taster session turned in to just over 2 years of guidance and confidence building. When I joined the artworks I was on 21 tablets a day, my children were often my carers and I was often bed bound with my illness. When I left the artworks (to venture out on my own in my own studio) I was medication free and feeling better than I had ever felt before.
Since then I have been medication free for nearly 6 years, out of all services for the past 2 years and finally off benefits for the first time in 14 and a half years. My girls have seen this transformation and they have pushed themselves further. I do talks about my journey and how you can live positively with mental illness (I still have the conditions, I just have found ways to manage and control them) I have had tea with the queen at Buckingham Palace, met Prince Charles and spoke at many top prestigious events about the benefits of social prescribing and how ‘a simple art class’ not only saved my life, but changed it beyond any recognition it had ever been before.
I was once told by a psychiatrist that I would always be ill, medicated and never work again. I believed that psychiatrist, I had been medically retired form my last job, I was on benefits and never thought I would work again, now I strive hard to quash those perceptions and make sure people do not ever believe or are told they cannot have a future. I now work in the same NHS trust that psychiatrist works in.
I am an active campaigner of mental illness awareness, anti-stigma, suicide awareness and prevention; I have worked with The kings fund, NHS England, Public health England, The health foundation and Yorkshire ambulance service to name but a few. I never had a voice whilst I was in services, now I make sure as many people as possible hear how anyone can achieve more than they think or are lead to believe they can. I was once an invisible service user with no voice, hope or aspiration. ‘A simple art class’ changed all that.
‘Never underestimate the power of a paint brush’

Reply

Bev Matthews 7 months ago

Hello Debs, thank you do much for sharing, this was so inspirational to read! Have you written this as a blog anywhere please? if not, can i encourage you to have a think about it - the title should be 'Never underestimate the power of a paint brush’.

Reply

Tony Longbone 7 months ago

Such a powerful story Debs and thank you so much for sharing with us, the power of activity to engage people is so often overlooked and something I feel very passionate about promoting working in mental health services.

Unfortunately those conversations with psychiatrists continue to happen but thankfully there is a shift towards recovery and not before time, I have had many conversations with people about their aspirations over the years and it has been nice to see that they have been able to achieve these goals over time.

Keep up the great work.

Reply

Debs Taylor 7 months ago

Thank you Tony, we need more champions to help with this, if I can help in any way just shout.

Reply

Debs Taylor 7 months ago

Thank you Bev, yes I have a website WWW.TheDebsEffect.co.uk that I put some of my work on and some of the talks and events I do.I have attached my latest blog about suicide which is something we ALL need to talk more about. I am working with Karen Turner about the changes we need to make in mental health services. There is still such a massive divide and I will not rest until mental health is no longer seen as the poor relative of health.

Reply

View all replies (4)
Share