When my cousin talks about volunteering He sees it as the inability to take one step backwards quickly enough because he used to be in the RAF. And when on the parade ground, the sergeant major said I want 3 volunteers. Everyone took a big step back and the ones who were left, they were the volunteers! I have to say it hasn’t been like that in the recovery college. I have volunteered to co-facilitate wrap, and now resilience and some wellness days.
And it’s been a blast. I got involved with the recovery college through attending a wrap course, and it proved so helpful to my own mental health that I wanted to share the process with others. That’s one of the big buzzes of co facilitating, seeing someone else get it, find something helpful that I’ve found helpful.
One of the important things about volunteering is the amazing people who I have met in groups I have been a member of and groups I have co-facilitated. People who have confronted real darkness and known incredible pain and yet have determined to do something that might make a difference. Might change thing’s It’s been well the only words I can use are a blessing. A blessing to meet such amazing people. Amazing to be part of their story And amazing to be inspired to keep working at my own mental health, because if others can wrestle with their pain and find a way through, the perhaps I can tooAnd yes I think volunteering also helps to keep me well, I can’t just put it down and say well that was a good idea. I have to keep engaging with my wrap it has to be real for me otherwise it wouldn’t be real for anyone else and I would be no help to anyone And I’m sure you have found the same, you do what you do because it helps others but also because it’s part of your journey to wellness, the recovery college has given me a different way of engaging with my mental health that has kept me better for longer, my kids tell me they can’t remember a time in the last ten years when my mental health has been better. It doesn’t take the issues away, we all have bad days, but it helps me engage with those issues on a day to day basis.
One of the good things about the recovery college is that breaking down of the them and us culture, a recognition that we are all in the same boat, push anyone hard enough and they break. Support people and as often as not they’ll find a way through. Continue to support and they can become their own best experts It’s something that’s really important to continue to promote, not only does it provide resources to keep us well, but it’s a model of doing mental health that doesn’t see the service user as an outsider. Do we’re much more likely to engage.
It’s good to keep this idea going, pushing the system to embrace that change where service users are not just the group that is done to. But that we can all be part of the solution.