Tag Archives: Advocacy

Mental health blog award

The Mental Health Blog Award aims to recognise those who promote Mental Health Awareness in the blogosphere. So I am greatly honored to have received this award from Addi over at

thanks you Addi my friend! 🙂

I am so happy people enjoy my blog. After all sometimes I wonder if my rambles are boring, so when people read and go so far as to nominate me for awards I am delighted!

The rules are simple. Nominate five bloggers who promote Mental Health awareness to receive this award and give reasons for your choices.

My nominees are
Matters to Sam
Fumbling through therapy
I was a foster kid
Me, looking for the missing pieces
Pen, paper and crazy

My reasons for choosing these blogs? They are honest portrayals of what its like to live with mental illness. Each of these people writes passionately on the subject. Their blogs are amazing and well worth a visit.

Hectic day, but a good day!

Todays been busy. But I like busy. I like to keep my mind occupied.
It was our aunts birthday today. She was 45-she’s 10 years older than our body age. We’re close to this aunt, and we always exchange gifts, cards on birthdays, at xmas, etc with her.
We had dr barry this morning, and after our appointment we went to visit our aunt. We only intended staying for an hour, but an hour turned into 4 hours lol. We even had dinner there. We gave her some flowers, lillys, those are her favourite and a card also.
It was nice to just chat, eat cake, and it helped distract us after our intense dr Barry appointment.
We decided today that when dr Barry is on holiday the week after next, that we wont go see her understudy. He doesnt know us, and so we were thinking it would probably be useless, and not beneficial to us in any way. Dr Barry was totally cool with our decision, she left it up to us to decide and when we told her she respected our choice not to see him.
We found out today that we’ve been elected on to the shine board of management. For those who arent aware, shine is the organisation that oversees the basement club, we had been up for election there were 2 spots on the board of management for service users, and we got the news this morning that we’d gotten a place. We were thrilled, its an honour to be part of that and advocate for people who dont have a voice!
On Saturday we will go to the annual AGM and we will give a small speech about ourselves. I’m sure it will be nerve wracking but I think we’ll do ok.
Well thats about all my news today. I hope your all having a great day!

Ideas, ideas

I’m feeling good today. Lots of ideas are floating around in my head. One idea I had I brought to the members meeting of the basement club. It was well recieved and it looks like its gonna take shape and take off. I wanted to try to start a book club at the basement club. So today at their members meeting I proposed the idea. A lot of people were inteerested, and it was voted on and passed. I’m going to facilitate the group. Next week I will meet C, one of the staff members and we will put a plan of action in place. I’m hoping to hold it once a month. D was saying today how some members might find it hard to read a book in full, due to lack of concentration, due to their medications, or because trying to read a big book seems daunting to some people. I tend to agree. So we’re hoping to start with a book of short stories or something that is light and easy reading. I’m hoping that at the group every month we can discuss what we read, as well as socialise, drink tea and coffee, chat and pick a new book for the next month, etc. I’m excited to start this new venture!
The other idea I had was also about a book. Myself and anothher member of the basement club had an idea to write a book, with members poetry, art work, stories, etc in it. We also thought we could put recipes in it, quotes, affirmations etc. We are meeting a staff member next week to discuss plans as if we’re going to do this there will be lots of work in the publishing of the book. We said we’d do all the typing, and C the member of staff said that shine already had an editor, so that might cut down on costs, and it will also make the finished product look amazing. I think the writing and publishing of this book will be a good summer project to do and it will definitely keep me busy. And busy is good.
The last idea I had came out of going to the self advocacy workshop yesterday. There used to be a peer advocacy group at the basement club, however it stopped running. Well myself and another member want to start it up again. We discussed it yesterday at the workshop. Again, if we are going to do it there is a lot to figure out. We will need to do training to facilitate a group, the two facilitators of the workshop yesterday said there is a 10 week advocacy course that we could do, and there may even be funding available for us to do it. However you do need a group of 12 or so in order for the course to go ahead. Trying to get that many people might be hard, lots of the members are not totally comitted to going to groups and stuff. We were thinking though it would be a really good idea to have some members that other members could go to if they needed research done, needed to get information and didnt know where to get it, etc. Or if some members were trained, they would be able to attend appointments and things with those members who didnt want to go alone to them. Its an idea anyway. One I am excited about for sure!

Thursday updates…its been a very busy day!

So after a restless night last night, I managed to drag myself up and out of bed at 8 AM. I really felt exhausted, and I debated whether I should just stay there and try to sleep for a little bit longer. But I knew I had a lot to do today so I got up and got a quick shower, and after that I must say I did feel a lot better. I actually ate a breakfast, which I’ve started to not do again lately, even though I’m meant to be following my nutritionists advice and eating a breakfast each morning.
I went to the basement club and spent the morning there. In the afternoon there was a workshop on which was about advocacy. It was the second of two workshops on the subject. Todays workshop had clashed with my psychiatrist appointment, but I had canceled that and decided I’d go to the workshop instead. I had rang dr. Barrys secretary this morning, and she was supposed to call me back about going in to see Dr. Barry next Wednesday but that hasnt happened yet.
We left the basement club at 12:45 and walked to get a bus to where the workshop was on. Nitro did really well and was a great dog, guiding me perfectly, not making any mistakes, just being his usual super self. I was so proud of him for the great job he did. I had been nervous about taking him on the bus, because I dont take him on a lot of buses, so he isnt used to traveling on them and I thought he’d get stressed. He didnt get stressed out, but he was a little bit restless on the bus, he kept standing up, shaking, lying down and then sitting up again, etc. But overall he was fine and I neednt have worried.
The workshop was excellent. I learned a lot from it. We did a lot of work on listening skills, assertiveness skills, we also did some role playing. We also learned about advocacy and the advocacy services that are available, and how to access them. It was a 3 hour workshop and by the end I felt quite tired.
After the workshop we went for food, that was nice. Part of what I really like about the basement club is the way everyone socialises, chats, there is no judging of anyone by anyone else whose a member, its totally ok to just be yourself, everyone accepts you for who you are, no questions asked. Even when your having a bad day, thats totally ok, everyone is so friendly and always ready to listen, willing to lend an ear, or a hand, be a friend, its totally amazing.
I’m delighted to be part of such a wonderful community as the basement club. It has really done wonders for my mental health since I joined. I’ve gotten to know some awesome people and I’ve done a lot of things I thought I’d never do. I’ve learned about resources that are available that I otherwise wouldnt have known about. I have a wonderful mentor C who is fab at her job and really warm, caring, friendly, compassionate, understanding, a great listener, and always ready to try and help me where she can.
Todays just been an all around great day. I feel positive and happy, a little bit tired too, but happy, and thats the main goal really when your in recovery, isnt it?