When Kevin first started working with the agencies which make up Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, his life had hit a real low.
He had practically become a recluse, barely leaving his Oxford home and failing to engage with the world around him. But little by little, with the support of the partnership, he was able to make a positive change.
Kevin, in his 50s, was offered a range of mental health care, housing, employment and wellbeing support by the partnership, which formally brings together six local mental health organisations from the NHS and the charity sector: Connection Floating Support, Elmore Community Services, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, Oxfordshire Mind, Response and Restore.
Kevin said: “It’s worth its weight in gold. These organisation have all helped me practically and to come to terms with things.”
“I feel a lot more confident to do things. When I’m in a place feeling better ,it’s good to give a bit back: I was able to use a music room and then help others learn to play instruments. I’ve always worked as a carpenter and a voluntary job came up as a tutor for a charity.”
“You never really get better: It’s not like there’s a magic wand. Whenever I need them they’re there, I can phone them up at any point. It’s good to know that’s there. Everybody is working together really well. To me it wasn’t like all different organisations – it’s just seamless.”
Andrew Crawford is also celebrating after being appointed as an expert-by-experience tutor at Oxfordshire Recovery College, after receiving support from Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership.
The Recovery College recognises the value of experience in helping others and it offers learning opportunities for those living with mental health problems, carers and professionals.
Andrew said: “From my own personal experience, the partnership has helped me achieve what I set out to do. I wanted to work in the mental health sector in some way and now I am working for Oxfordshire Recovery College. The big thing for me has been peer-to-peer learning. My experience is valued and that’s inspiring for me.”