Celebrating Mental Health

Recovery Festival at West London Mental Health Trust


Molly Carroll (left) from Mind with Flippa Watkeys, from West London Mental Health Trust.


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A ground-breaking programme that helps people recover from mental health conditions at West London Mental Health NHS Trust marked its achievements with a festival of recovery, last week.

In the words of Dr Rachel Perkins, a leading expert on mental health recovery, who has been working with us at the Trust, “I’ve been struck by the enthusiasm of the staff at West London Mental Health Trust who are passionate and utterly committed to their patients.

“No matter how unwell people are, the staff I’ve met show an outstanding ability always to see patients’ strengths and in doing so give them hope. They focus entirely on working with them to help them to re-gain control of their lives.”

Staff at the Trust have been changing working practices, embedding the principles of *mental health recovery into all aspects of care, so that care is now being delivered as a partnership, between mental health practitioner and patient - with the patient's recovery at the fore. Staff have had team away days and they’ve participated in training to embed these new ways of working.

Acting Director of Nursing, Dr Anne Aiyegbusi explains: "We’ve held a number of events this week during our festival of recovery which have given us an opportunity to look back and celebrate some of our achievements. For example, our staff and patients led recovery conferences which have given us a platform to share positive changes and good work across our large organisation. Also the work we’ve been doing with partners in the local authority and Accession Social Enterprises to develop our work units as social enterprises, thus offering more and better work opportunities for our patients.

“For the first time we've also appointed peer support workers, who were once service users themselves and have joined our staff teams where they are now working with patients where they will share their lived experiences of recovery with others struggling with mental health issues."

Events during our Festival of Recovery have included a recovery road show in our services on the St Bernard's site in Ealing, and an evening of recovery poetry and song by patients in Ealing and a number of workshops for staff and patients. Anne Aiyegbusi adds: “Patients and staff have much to be proud of during this week of recovery and it’s been really positive for us to have these events to help us celebrate the progress we’re making.”

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April 24, 2013

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