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Let’s talk mental health

18 Oct 2019

Let’s talk mental health
written by Ze Ze Jones

zezeA lot of service users at Robin’s and Falcon suffer from poor mental health, myself included. It affects your daily functioning and can often be debilitating. I have been in mental health hospitals for about 4 years and I know that mental health needs to be taken seriously and early intervention is crucial!

Over the past 6 months, I have been trying to follow this vision, trying to improve future mental health services for young people. I have a role called an “Expert by Experience” where I work with Forward Thinking Birmingham (the mental health service in Birmingham for children and young people) as well Birmingham City University (where I will start lecturing about my experience of mental ill health) and University of Birmingham (where they are interested in research and evidence-based practice). Throughout my time, I have met the Director of Mental Health for Birmingham, the CEO of Birmingham Children’s Hospital and have spoken at conferences about what I think about outcomes of recovery. I am Research Lead for Think 4 Brum (a youth advisory group full of Experts by Experience). I am now working to try to improve psychiatric inpatient facilities and do treatment reviews for inpatients.

It is really rewarding work and it gives me a sense of purpose and makes me feel like I am giving back to the community by helping improve service user experience.

By talking about this, I would like to encourage others to join me in my vision of ensuring everyone with mental health difficulties are given appropriate treatment and support and that their illness is not stigmatised. I am trying to advocate for quality and equality of care.

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