Hello everyone, hope you are all well today. i thought i would share with you, my thoughts about the mental health conference that took place in July this year.
I took part this time. standing up and speaking about my own personal experiences of mental health. The other speakers are what i want to talk about today.
The first speaker was Vincent Harrison. his talk was original and entertaining and very informative. He ‘rapped’ about his struggles with life , his mental health and his past experiences of life. i have never seen a talk done this way, but you could relate to his story. i found him quite inspirational to be honest.
I was the next speaker, which was quite daunting, considering who i had to follow. but i stood up and just let it flow. my talk was done in an interview style by my friend Ivan, whiched helped me feel more relaxed. Ivan asked me about my struggles dealing with my mental health. He also gave me the opportunity yo explain about things that i use to help me get through tough times. we also talked about my time at Recovery College, and what an impact it has had on my own recovery. all in all i think it went well.
The next speaker after me was a gentlemen was called Tod Sullivan. this man has been helping me a lot over the last couple of years, and i cant thank him enough. He spoke about his experiences he had, whilst on his fellowship in America. the things he has learned, has made him want to use the same ideas, and hopefully implement them, here in the UK.
The fourth speaker was a lovely lady, and i would like to say a good friend now, Sue Willgoss. She spoke about the loss of her son last year, to suicide. She spoke about how she lobby’s to get mental health services improved. She has gained a vast amount of knowledge about the mental health services here in our own town. She also has formed a charity, Lift Loud For Danny, in memory of her son, and in the hopes of improving things for people with mental health issues, She is an avid campaigner, and speaks up for those who struggle with mental health. She also runs quite a few drop ins where people can come in for a chat and find out information that she has accumulated. Sue is also planning to get a crisis centre opened up in our town. I support her as much as i can and am in awe of her fighting spirit.
Now, the next speaker was a young lady named Yasmin. She spoke about her last father and how her culture affected her, by telling her how to dress and how to at. she also touched on CPTSD, and how the diagnosis is not diagnosed correctly soon enough. I found this very interesting, ans a westerner looking into another culture and background, its something a lot of us don’t even think about.
Our sixth speaker was a lady called Catherine. She spoke about ways of coping with her mental health. She described a ‘village’ that she draws, which includes people in her life and important things to here. this gives her a sense of security and peace. She also told us that creating artwork helps her a great deal, and even showed us some of her work. I for one know that doing anything creative can help quite the mind and help you relax, so i would recommend this pastime to anyone.
Our final speaker was Dan Biddel. I remember the first time i heard him speak, and even now, i marvel at his inner spirit and fight. For those of you that don’t know this inspirational man, Dan was a victim of the 7/7 bombings in London. ue to this he lost both legs and one of his eyes, his injuries were so extensive that i could not possible list them all, and he is a marvel for surviving so much injuries. But to listen to him, i just don’t know if i, for one, would have come through it even half a good as him. I find him funny, and enthralling to listen to. He narrates that day in such a way, you are rooted to your seat, because even though you know how it ends, you want to hear his version. I love hearing his love story, about how he met his wife after the event. I don’t think anyone leaves untouched by his story. I have a great admiration for this man. He too is trying to raise awareness of services that can help people with mental health.
Reflecting on this day, i’ve found it to e empowering for myself. telling my own story, and listening to others was, well, Awesome!!
I encourage you all, to look for the help you need or want. It might take a while, but i say, never give up, because your worth it.
I would also like to highly recommend you to go to any of the events put on around you. You can find inspiration, and even find a different perspective on things.
I look forward to hearing from you and wish you all a good mental health.
Thanks for reading
The team of speakers