It's officially one sleep until the Richmond Fellowship ENRICH Awards!!
To celebrate, I decided to write a quick post about the three lessons the organization have taught me...
After my two and a half years in Cygnet Bierley, I was transferred to a ‘rehab’ ward at my local psychiatric hospital so as to gently get used to the idea of not having staff around me 24/7. I think that all my concentration was so focused on adapting to the changes that I remember very little from my time there. Which means I can’t remember when I first met with Richmond Fellowship, but it was in 2014 so I’ve been with them for five years now!
I’d like to dedicate this post to my most recent support worker (who now has a new job!); Georgie, who has become one of my greatest friends. Oh! And a special thank you to the Richmond Fellowship Tyneside Team Manager; Alice, for always ensuring I get the greatest service available from the team.
1. YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND TO
As my recovery has progressed, I’ve had the ability to actually do some ‘work’ for Richmond Fellowship as opposed to purely being a service user. I wouldn’t say that I feel more respected, but that – actually – I have more respect for the organization – it is such a huge risk (in any setting; not just mental health) to take giving someone as big responsibilities as I’ve been given, that it means a lot to me to have that trust invested in me. The opportunities have made me feel useful, appreciated, and that my strengths are acknowledged. So far, some (because I don’t think I could remember ALL) of the opportunities Richmond Fellowship have given me, have been co-chairing and then chairing three (I think) Working Together Forums, co-facilitating workshops at events, being on the judging panel for the ENRICH Awards, becoming a Member of the Working Together Committee, co-chairing the ENRICH Awards and running the Richmond Fellowship TynesideTwitter for the Awards ceremony.
2. CHANGE ISN’T ALWAYS A BAD THING
During the five years I’ve been with Richmond Fellowship, I’ve had a few different Support Workers after some have taken new jobs, quit, gotten promotions, gone on long-term sick leave etc. But their high quality of care has always prevailed, and they’ve always ensured that changes to my named Support Worker were seamless and therefore much easier to cope with. Each Support Worker, though, has been well suited to my needs and personality yet each one has brought something different to their role. Some have been brilliant at emotional support, others are more useful for the challenges I face with practical aspects of life like appointments at the bank, GP check-ups, food shopping and collecting my medications.
3. THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIORITIES
Throughout my poor mental health, I’ve been notorious for not getting my priorities in order; with me often leaving pieces of ‘work’ until the last minute! Richmond Fellowship have shown me that deciding what needs to be done and when they should be done! It’s shown me that it results in a massive reduction of stress levels! I now know when to stop blogging and start doing some self-care, or when I should be spending my time doing my online course as opposed to bingeing on Pretty Little Liars episodes on Netflix!