Hello from Scotland!

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Hello from Scotland!

Post by lisa1610 on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:34 pm

Hi there
My name is Lisa and I am the manager of a user-led mental health charity in Scotland. We facilitate peer support drop-ins and collective advocacy for people with mental health difficulties within their local communities. As a user-led charity all of our staff and committee have experience of mental health difficulties, myself included! My own personal experience is with obsessive compulsive disorder although I believe strongly that it is not, to me, a disorder at this time and that it is something I am very much in control of NOW! Wink
The reason I have joined this forum is because I hope later in the year to come to New Zealand to learn more about peer support there. I am hoping to write a research paper that will then inform, influence and improve the services in Scotland but also the anti-stigma work we carry out in this country. I have been reading with great interest how the Like Minds Like Mine campaign seems to be influencing change. For me the biggest challenge is how we reduce stigma in rural communities (I live and work in rural areas so am well aware of the stigma especially for me as a supposedly infallible "professional"). So my research will also look at how we in Scotland can learn from the work in NZ in this area.
I am also interested in the Stigma Watch campaign as our media is completely unpoliced in this area. Most days you pick up a UK tabloid paper and read an article where there is a direct link between a mental health diagnosis and a crime as if the 2 are mutually inclusive! I feel that we too should have a method of reporting such misconceptions and again we can learn from NZ in this.
I am an independent member of the cross party working group on mental health within the Scottish parliament so my research will not just be filed. It is my intention to bring my findings back to the parliament in order to ensure that changes are made that can improve the daily lives of Scottish people experiencing mental ill health.
If anyone wants to get in contact with me to tell me more about their own views or experiences of the NZ anti-stigma work or the peer support services, I would be delighted to hear more. Later in the year I will also then be planning an itinerary and would love to meet people face to face to hear their stories and experiences direct.
So my apologies for rambling but I wanted to introduce myself and send greetings from a very cold, wintery Scotland to NZ and explain my reasons for joining the forum.
Many thanks
Lisa
(ps if you want to know more about my charity you can visit our website www.newhorizonsborders.co.uk)

lisa1610

Number of posts : 2
Age : 40
Location : Scotland
Registration date : 2012-11-20

http://www.newhorizonsborders.co.uk

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Re: Hello from Scotland!

Post by zin on Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:52 am

Hi Liza, I am writing this from a 29c hot afternoon! So glad you have found our wee forum. I have been lucky not to have encountered a huge amount of stigma personally, but thought I could tell you of one incident.
I was donating blood and had to give a list of what medications I was on. I mentioned Risperidone and the nurse asked me what it was. So I explained that it is an anti-psychotic, and she didn't know where to look! I thought a health professional should have been more open minded, it is not like the mentally ill wear a label saying 'nutter'....
Not sure if that is relevant to your research or not but it is my 2 cents worth.

Zin
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zin

Number of posts : 92
Location : Waikato
Registration date : 2010-09-22

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Re: Hello from Scotland!

Post by Headless12 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:07 am

Hi Lisa
I had to have a small giggle to myself as I was reading your post, as I thought to myself, what anti stigma work in NZ, then I had to stop and think don't be so harsh. John Kirwin wrote an excellent book that I found SO helpful called All Blacks Don't Cry and there are adds on tv about supporting people with bi-polar, out side of that I have my psycotherapist and a close friend who has 'been there done that' who has been an amazing support person and friend, I've looked for depression support groups locally, but the closest I've found is a 3hr drive away, assuming I was even looking in the right place! I found this site by sheer fluke. I actually feel like I've sort of been made to walk the plank since my diagnosis of depression and ptsd because I was given these lables and then left hanging wondering what do I do now???

I can honestly say I haven't come across any out right stigma but thats because I don't tell people what the deal is, I just leave them to think I'm a bit of a retard, partly because when you try to explain to people what it is like they just don't get it, and really it's not that they don't want to, they just can't get their head around how enormous and overwhelming it all is, they don't get that the smallest unimportant things can seem so vital and insurmountable, that what for them is a shaddow passing is like being plunged into the blackest eternity for you, or why you can't just 'snap out of it' and the biggest thing they don't get is how bloody frightening it is not to mention frustrating. The other reason I choose not to discuss it is because natural curiosity has people asking why and how it all came about, and frankly that is between me and deep blue sea.... and my shrink.

I do believe I am blathering!!

Good luck with your ventures
Headless12

Headless12

Number of posts : 21
Location : Wanganui/Manawatu
Registration date : 2012-11-14

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Re: Hello from Scotland!

Post by lisa1610 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:57 pm

Thanks for your replies - not blathering ones at all either! Its really helpful to hear of peoples experiences of any kind. I think the experiences in NZ are likely to be similar to those in Scotland as we have a similar issue with rurality and with services being often far from where people live. Social isolation is a huge issue for us.
I can also identify with when people just don't get it. I do a whole series of obsessive rituals (most in my head and therefore impact on no-one but me) and people who don't understand just say "just stop doing it". If only it were that straight forward!!
I must have a look for the John Kirwin book too.
Huge thanks for replying, I really do appreciate it!
Lisa

lisa1610

Number of posts : 2
Age : 40
Location : Scotland
Registration date : 2012-11-20

http://www.newhorizonsborders.co.uk

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