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Stories of hope and recovery to mark Mental Health Awareness Week

Patients, service users and mentors have shared stories of hope and recovery to mark Mental Health Awareness Week. Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is the mental health provider trust for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. These stories feature a range of Trust services, from support for young people to wellbeing courses for older adults.

Stories of hope and recovery

Community Mental Health Team: Tom's Story

Tom suffered a mental health breakdown in November 2023. Before his breakdown, he had been experiencing work-related stress. Despite enjoying his job, this led to increased feelings of negativity while at work. It culminated in Tom suffering from repeat stress headaches and feeling like he was unable to care for his wife and daughter.

Tom was referred to one of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s mental health practitioners through his GP surgery. He had several appointments and sessions with the practitioner, during which he was signposted to a range of extra support services. These included Man Down, which Tom feels has been a huge support. He continues to attend local Man Down sessions to this day. 

Early Intervention in Schools: Callington Community College

The Trust's Early Intervention in Schools peer support programme provides training for secondary school students to become peer mentors for children who are making the transition from primary school.

The free to use programme is available in several primary and secondary schools in north and east Cornwall. It aims to help children who may be experiencing personal difficulties when moving to secondary school, from anxiety and low self-esteem to confidence and friendship difficulties.

It is hoped more schools will sign up for the programme in 2024, to ensure all year 6 primary school children have equitable access to support in their transition to secondary school. Read more about the programme.

Perinatal Mental Health Team: Hayley's story

Hayley lives near Newquay. She is mum to two children, Evelyn and George. Hayley was already struggling with her mental health and being supported by Cornwall's Eating Disorders service when she was referred to the Perinatal Mental Health Team. She received support from the team after the births of both her children.

Hayley says the team's support has helped her to move past her feelings of thinking that neither of her children wanted her, to knowing she is a good mum.

The Perinatal Mental Health Team have recently received national recognition from the Royal College of Psychiatrists Perinatal Quality Network for delivering high quality care. Read more about the national recognition.

To find out how to access perinatal support, visit the Perinatal Mental Health Team website.

Young at Heart: Rosalind's Story

Rosalind and her husband moved to Cornwall around the time of the pandemic. She was referred to the Young at Heart therapeutic course after struggling to adjust to life after retirement. She also lost both her parents in a short space of time.

Rosalind says the course has helped her to meet new people and take up new activities, as well as providing techniques to cope with anxiety.

Young at Heart is one of the therapeutic courses offered by the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Talking Therapies service. It uses cognitive behavioural therapy to provide techniques so we can live well in later life. The course is geared up around reducing isolation and loneliness and improving wellbeing for over 65s.

For more information, visit the Talking Therapies website.

Individual Placement and Support service: Peer mentors

Michelle, Merlin and Ben are peer mentors and support workers with the Individual Placement and Support service. They all have lived experience of mental health and are using those experiences to help others.

Pentreath and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust offer this service. It supports people with severe mental illness to find competitive paid employment of their choosing. The service believes that with the right support, everyone has the potential to gain paid employment. Mental health diagnosis does not predict capacity to work. The most important factor is willingness to work.

Since its launch, the service has helped over 200 people find work.

For more information, visit the Individual Placement and Support service website.

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