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CRWK17 Day 5 - More Thank Lip Service

CRWK17 Day 5 - More Thank Lip Service

People who have experience of being supported are key in the shaping of service development and in the development of public policy.

This was evidenced in a day that was definitely one of two halves.

This morning, Rt Rev Dr Browning expressed his delight at visiting our Palmerston Place PND Service.  A service to which he has made referrals.

He heard first-hand about the impact PND has on mothers and on fathers from a mother who has received support from the service and from members of the PND Lothian team. 

He learned that the support offered by CrossReach for people affected by PND has been shaped by the needs and feedback from the people who have received a service from us. 

CrossReach aims to keep each person supported at the centre of the service they receive and this was further evidenced by the Influencing Public Policy event in the afternoon.

Representatives from our Children and Family Services and Services to Older People delivered a range of inspiring and thought provoking experienced based presentations.  In addition, there was a poignant presentation from Morven Day Services volunteer, Sarah Lewis.

Sarah candidly unpacked her personal experience of walking a journey through mental health issues.  Her moving and heart wrenching story detailed the stigma and discrimination she faced – unnecessary heavy weights put upon her from misconceptions, assumptions and judgements made by individuals and society.

She spoke about her immense appreciation at finding genuinely compassionate help through Morven Day Services.  No judgement – instead support and people to listen and walk with her on the road.  In Morven DS she could simply be Sarah. 

In time, she became a volunteer with the service.  She now has the opportunity to walk with individuals on their journeys through mental health issues whilst leading the Art Group.

During her presentation, she noted if a person has been detained under the Mental Health Act they can’t stand as an MSP.  She also shared that if a sitting MSP is hospitalised in a psychiatric hospital or ward for 6 months they must stand down, even if they are supported by their constituents.

She was clear that lip service support is no support at all and that when it comes to policy making, people who have lived experience of mental illness have a great deal to contribute.  However, she went on to say they are often overlooked in favour of professional opinion.

If individuals are to be at the centre of their support and services, they need to be serious contributors in the decision making etc.  Involvement in their support must be more than lip service.

We would like to thank Sarah and all other contributors to the event for their immensely thought provoking, challenging and inspiring involvement.

In particular, we thank Paul Anderson, Community Outreach Manager from the Scottish Parliament and three members of his team who attended the event for facilitating discussions regarding influencing Public Policy.

 - Video reflection on visit to PND Services by Rt Rev Dr Browning

 

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Tel: 0131 657 2000 Email: info@crossreach.org.uk