Southampton – January 2019

The Mental Wealth Trialogue was held on Wed 30 January at Board in the City CIC. attended by 16 people. Of those, 11 identified themselves as having lived experience of mental ill-health, 2 as carers, 6 as professionals, and 3  as interested public.


Part 1 : How do we empower ourselves to promote change?

Use the Internet

Self care, does this empower us?

No one wants to feel bad and having a reliable source regarding how to take care of yourself is helpful

Sharing of tips

Be careful RE Web MD.  Finding new symptoms in the directory of self care things

Self care is very individual, this is good

The genie too which is good

Face to face is the best, helping people to help themselves

We all need help from time to time to find out what will help

When you are unwell is very difficult to take care of yourself

Isolation is sometimes the point where you need to take more care of yourself

Remembering what helps when you feel you can for example a WRAP plan

The power of the pen, write a letter and the e-mail they have to respond

As relatives to write too.  Don’t call they can ignore that

Bookmaking, creativity.  But strong positive memories in and illustrate in order to relive it for reference when feeling low

Breaks a downward cycle

Writing songs, storybooks

Complaint letters, don’t take things lying down

Get educated, armed with knowledge

Be kind to others

Right too M P’s the government NHS boards etc

Advocates, someone to go with you to appointments

Believe that change is possible

Writing often needs to be done in a place where you feel safe enough to engage with it

A port of call to go to that people can use for signposting would be useful

It’s hard to write what you feel when you feel really bad

Acceptance of our realities and don’t invalidate them

Supporting others can really save us

Recognizing when we need help

Saying I need help I can’t do this anymore is empowering

What about collectively empowerment?

Awareness raising days for example hope day

Campaigning for change organisations working together

Group walking, where staff and patients go along together

Respecting each other’s realities

Ask others four positive feedback to boost us

Acceptance of us as we are

How do we challenged the thought and beliefs held about mental health issues in communities?

It is not our job to educate people

Those who’ve never had a mental health issue will just not get it, just not understand

The mind to website is useful, an easy read

The people have to want to be educated

The cultural idea of other –we became this, this is deep seated and ingrained

Empowerment does not necessarily mean feeling strong

It means being brave despite the fear

Part 2:

Amendments to the mental capacity act was undertaken and they didn’t ask anyone with mental health issues

The government just doesn’t ask us in a meaningful way

The current suggestion is for more restriction, taking away  rights to an advocate

Essential to stand up and have a say in these matters

Person first, labels second

Dangerousness is a damaging stereotype

Even a label of schizophrenia can change feelings in a family

Some want a label as this might mean they get help

Being seen as eccentric can be helpful but not if services say it as an excuse not to help you

In other cultures those we might call mad are seen as wise new label

it is not necessary to share your diagnosis with the others

EUPD and bpd I used on TV to be the new psycho

We need to educate  professionals better

Assumptions about people based on a diagnosis is dangerous, it disallows our individuality

Things are not black and white

Talking about it normalises it

No one has the right to judge us

What changes are we looking for?

A lot more awareness of suicide for example

Opportunities are reduced, life passes a spy

Societal values seem to be regarding what you do

Society needs to reassess its values

Social media, people seem to have the perfect life on there

# leaving your best life # living the dream

Comparing even when we know this is the reality is hard not to do

Cider bullying, trolls, the most awful comments, this is very hard to police

There is pressure to keep up the perfect life or at least a version of it online

Social media can also allow us to help each other

There is some great media as well, some lovely films

It’s easy to think what we don’t want, but what do we actually want?

Kindness to ourselves and others

An admission of the wounded healer

Tolerance allowing people to be a bit different, allowing people to be

By being kind to ourselves is first and foremost

Hate is not the opposite of love, it is indifference

Independence is important that interdependence is as well

Question for next time: What kind of change do we want?