wow! what an amazing day I have had. 

I was lucky to get a place on Calderdales first ‘mental health and parenting conference organised by an incredible charity called ‘Healthy minds’ . People who know my story in previous posts may just be able to grasp the surrealness I felt being a part of a conference made up of socialworkers, Independent reviewing offices, psychologists, family support workers the women centre and mental health service users and volunteers.

All brought together under one roof with a common goal of learning about mental health and parenting and how the two can concur. I was inspired by the people who spoke about their experiences with various professionals. People being ignored and there wishes overridden all because they may have had a mental health history. I finally felt that all my life and experiences has led me to this road that I am walking in my present life. I’m not the only one who wants change! YAY!

 Mental health is about EVERYBODY and if we continue to ignore this fact we are seriously hindering safeguarding our community. I did two awesome workshops today: one being on how we in the community can get service users to access the services available. Fear is a motivating factor. Fear of being put down, fear that benefit money will be stopped, fear of local authorities involvement such as social services. Calderdale professionals need to get wise about mental health and be a part of the solution.

STOP TAKING KIDS AWAY FROM PARENTS WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES and start signposting people to groups and services they can find support without judgement. One person I was over the moon to see was the independent reviewing officer who resided over my daughters case when she was a word of the court and in temporary foster care. This is the same woman 3 months into our case decided to ratify the social services plan to have my daughter adopted. We met today on the same level. She acted like a long time friend. She was the thorn in my side. We clash personality wise and sometimes even professionals can’t put their personal feelings to one side. We are only human, right?  I don’t hold any grudges. I have my baby home where she belongs. I was happy to see her there ready to learn something. So good on her.

Something that never seems to fail to surprise me is how professionals link Domestic violence with mental health and assume that taking a child from their family is the only solution. NO! There are loads of groups mothers and fathers can access in my area to learn how to leave a bad relationship, find housing and receive mental health support and still keep their children with them. All these targets that local authorities need to hit-it’s like working for an inbound insurance company. The focus needs to be first and foremost how a family can stay together reasonably safely. This does require thinking out the box and more support workers and social workers and agencies to challenge their beliefs about mental health.

We all know there are major funding issues for mental health causes. Where I live it seems if you live in an arty area and can creative then you deserve funding. Yes, being creative and having writing/ acting/ dancing and painting workshops are great  but not everyone is wired to be creative. We are all unique and funding should be more readily available. Al thought this bullshit Tory government needs to go back to the 80’s and die with all the bad perms of the day. 

I am getting ahead of myself. Back to the conference. Another workshop I chose to go on was the ‘mothers apart’ group. CLICK HERE FOR PLENTY INFO. Originally I was going to do the creativity workshop with a lady I will be working with on an anti stigma workshop in November. I want to be creative. She is  doing very well in her personal life. A book published. I’m a writer…but no I had to put my ego to one side and go with my instincts. I know about living apart from my child. I know the system, the flaws, the places to access help, how to communicate with various agencies, what needs to be done so everyone is working from a current document and not a bunch of minutes that were typed scatterly typed up in 1985. Slight exaggeration but you get my meaning. From this workshop I’m in touch with the organiser and I will do anything to help.

There are so many different levels of support I want to access and learn to help others. I know I go on a about being a volunteer and I go on about it not because I want people to think I am a good person. I am but unfortunately there are not paid jobs in the mental health sector for me, yet. Until I one comes along. I will continue to volunteer. It helps put my mental health in perspective. I feel like this is where I have always wanted to be. I was meant to take this path (fate if you like) but I also made the conscious decision to go down this path which is crucially important because I know why I am on this path.  It was a brilliant day. I feel inspired, positive ready for hard work and breaking boundaries and using my voice and developing my skills even further. I finally feel useful again. I have purpose other than being a Mum to my gorgeous child or a super cool wife to be hahaa. So this is where I am at.  I’m going to put down a few links for anybody who is interested. The first is about how you can  literally ‘HELP OUT WHEN YOU CHECK OUT’ – All you need to do is carry on shopping and buying the things you do but sign up to this site and every purchase you make at whichever store or organisation- a % of the money goes to the Health minds or a  charity of your choice. How easy and cool is that. No direct debits -hassle free.click to register – 1 minute of your time is needed. 1 minute . I also got chatting to someone who gave me some information about ‘Fashion textile childrens trust’  – which helps people who work in certain sectors who need financial support  their child’s wellbeing  click onHERE for more information  HOW COOL IS THAT?

So that is a bit about what I’ve been up to..


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