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The SUN has given me confidence in myself that I have something to offer and am able to work as part of a team to achieve goals in specific relate to mental illness through the Five Values Project.
This confidence meant I applied and acquired a paid role in a national mental health charity and have now worked there for one year.
Working has been a crucial part of my recovery journey; providing me with meaning and boosting my self-esteem hugely.
Founding member of the 5 Values service user team
From Zero to hopeful….
After my first psychotic episode, I lost control of reality and had a few terrifying and very strange years. After a suicide attempt I was placed on medication and given support by the Cameo team in Peterborough. I lost my independence, my self-esteem, my confidence and my sense of personal safety.
But with the love and support of a great family, a good man and a few good friends I have achieved quite a lot. The Sun Network has been a part of my journey, a stepping stone to where I am now. With a combination of the Cameo team, The Recovery College, voluntary work and the Sun Network, I have now progressed to a much more comfortable place in my life and I have even started some paid employment part time. I am now an administrative assistant for a local business.
I met Anne from the Sun Network, at the Recovery college in one of their workshops and I showed an interest in their organisation. They also showed an interest in me. I was introduced into a world of meetings. I was given the opportunity to sit on an interview panel as well as attend some NHS and other meetings. Anne supported me through the process and at the meetings, which I don’t believe I would have done on my own. But it helped with my confidence and my self-esteem.
Furthermore, ideas have sprung from attending these meetings. I believe I have been listened to and appreciated by workers in the mental health field and I have even had an idea spring to mind which my father and I will be investigating.
Whilst at an NHS meeting with Anne we discussed a local council who have recognised and implemented a helping hands scheme for people struggling with mental health issues. Dad and I hope to help our community as well to protect the vulnerable people and this could become possible because my dad sits on the local parish council.
The Sun Network has been very inspiring to me and very supportive, they have raised my confidence levels and generated ideas on ways for me to move forward, I have had an input into local health and mental health services and they have helped me to help myself and my local community.
Since linking in with , The Sun Network , I find it an amazing network , it enables me to share what the Sun Network has to offer throughout our CPFT NHS Trust organisation , to enable our service users to access some amazing opportunities, which is vital on their road to recovery.
Simply a pure joy attending these meetings
I lost a friend to suicide over 20 years ago now so I can talk really openly about it and I don’t fall apart anymore but I didn’t quite expect there to be so many instances of suicide, and I didn’t expect to feel so moved and feeling galvanised into wanting to help to do something about it. I have no idea how or what.
I was blown away at the response to those deaths as in, what they actually trigger in terms of the different organisations and partnership working that has to take place to look at patterns, prophylactic measures, interventions, and the wonderful work that I heard about yesterday and the joining up of teams such as the crisis care work from Modestas’ teams and Lifecraft teams etc.
I am looking forward to the next one. I love the fact that this is being taken seriously and that new thoughts are thrown out into these meetings and embraced rather than just shut down and forgotten about.
Charlotte, is so lovely, it was an absolute pleasure to meet her and I was really happy that she was there yesterday.
The Sun Network facilitates the voice of service users, enabling us to hear the valuable experiences individuals have of local services, directly communicating the strengths and areas for improvement enabling us to be responsive and work collaboratively to make positive changes to service delivery.
Susie Talbot, Public Health Commissioner of local specialist drug/alcohol treatment services
As STP clinical mental health lead I have found the input/support from the SUN invaluable. Feedback from our service users and carers has led to transformation of services including our First Response Crisis Mental Health Service and Primary Integrated Mental Health Service (PRISM) which are nationally recognised in the NHS Long Term Plan. We could not have achieved the transformation required without proactive coproduction throughout the commissioning process, SUN ensure that they are represented on all our key mental health delivery boards. The SUN have supported us in our quest for a genuinely integrated mental health service which breaks down the barriers between primary, secondary, mental health /physical health and health and social care and puts the patient at the heart of all that we do – so a big thank you to the SUN team!
Dr Emma Tiffin, NHS GP
The Sun Network helped me feel important again and stood next to me whilst my voice was finally heard, but together our voices together are louder.
After being silenced as a child and then as an adult too, The Sun Network are true to their title and all the work they do, as they helped me shine like the sun again. They encouraged me to be involved in things that i never could have dreamt of doing, all of which I am truly grateful for.
Shoosh No More
The SUN Network made me feel like I had value again. When taking part in projects I felt I was listened to and what I had to say was taken seriously. They have helped me grow in my recovery and bridged the gap between someone who uses mental health services, and someone gaining potential employment.
“Being involved with the SUN Network has given me the opportunity to feel included, valued and informed on key decisions being undertaken by the CCG and CPFT.
My confidence has grown exponentially because of YOU and thank you doesn’t even begin to say how I feel.
Recently, I applied for a Peer Support Facilitator job with CPSL Mind, and I would NEVER have contemplated doing that before my involvement with you.
Today, just a little while ago, I found out that I GOT THE JOB!”
It has been a pleasure to work with the SUN Network to develop leaflets and online material for those with eating disorders in the community. The material includes words of encouragement, myths and truths about eating disorders, information about asking for help, starting conversations, looking after wellbeing, support in the area, and resources available. I hope that, when finished, the leaflets and website can help to raise awareness of eating disorders, encourage those with eating disorders to reach out for support and inspire sufferers that recovery is possible. It is a really important and exciting project to be a part of, we always have a laugh in the design meetings, and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished results and getting the information out in to the community! Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions but with the right support and help recovery is possible.
Reach out to Beat for more information about eating disorders or to access support.
Naomi, Member of the Eating Disorder Workshops
From meeting the group, discussing our stories, to creating the leaflet and now creating the website, it has been such a rewarding and special experience. I feel so at ease to share and feel honoured to be part of the development of what could be such a crucial and important part of some one else’s road/start of recovery. Contributing to something that could help prevent someone from falling into a full blown eating disorder or support that person who is struggling now is such a rewarding thing to do. I come away from every session with such a warm heart. I just hope our words of encouragement gets to everyone who needs to hear them! Thank you to Charlotte and Vickie, they are so kind and cherish all opinions and ideas, so nothing you say feels irrelevant, it’s such an open and honest forum. I am so glad I got asked and signed up to assist, it’s been so worthwhile.