Hi, I’m Lois Sidney, the Executive Director of The SUN network. I’ve been with the SUN Network for 6 years. I am also a qualified counsellor. Prior to that I worked in the prison service for 15 years. Working in the prisons gave me some insight into mental health and sparked an interest in me and I retrained as a counsellor and that lead me to seek work within the field of mental health and the rest as they say, is history.
I have also like all staff at The SUN Network had my own lived experience of mental health and/or substance misuse, going through some very challenging times, and now feel it is time to help others receive the best services at a time when they need it.
How exciting keeping a blog! Our job is so varied it is never the same thing two days in a row, so it will be fun to look back and see what a week I had.
I have started the week finishing up our newsletter which you can read here. We have a service users point of view from Dominic Stenning about his co-production journey with CPFT, and we are very excited that our work has been recognised and is the subject of a Co-Production article in the Health Service Journal. This is based on some of our Co-Production work here in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
I’m enjoying the sunnier weather. I find it so uplifting. It makes me feel happy and hopeful. Does the nicer weather have an impact on how you feel?
I also visited Winston House this week with my colleague Charlotte and spoke with some of the residents there about what is important to them for a mental health housing support service to deliver. They were really positive about Winston House and the support it offers which was great to hear. They also mentioned it would be really nice if they could have a pet, which I totally get as I have dogs, cats, a rabbit and fish, and I get such pleasure from having them as part of my family. There is definitely a therapeutic element to having a furry companion. (or a scaly one like my fish – so relaxing watching them)
We have been invited to Healthwatch’s AGM which will be July 10th, the focus is mental health and we have two lovely ladies who will be telling their story which can be such an empowering experience, and can really inspire others who may be struggling with their own mental health.
That’s it for me this week. Have a lovely weekend and remember you are amazing. Celebrate your successes and achievements, so often we forget to do that!