A Community Reporter discusses their ongoing relationship with mental health recovery as part of the Oral Histories Project

So what does mental health recovery mean to you? Recovery, to me is the hardest word because it brings up a lot of emotions Safer. Me recovery is an ongoing healing journey. And as someone with lived experience of mental health issues and do, I think recovery is possible Well, I think everyone can define that themselves for me. Um, I just always say I'm healing

I never say that I'm recovered because I never want that pressure on myself. Um, and I think it kind of our mental health evolves as we grow older as our lives change, seasons change. Um, but I know for me, recovery has been quite challenging because we live in a world where, especially in the past, the mental health system was set up and in many ways, still today to get you to crisis point before you got the help you needed

Now there's a lot more schemes and campaigns, social prescribing, trying to get you out dancing and a writing, doing community reporting and a lot more of a holistic approach, which is really good to see. And but back when I first had really severe mental health problems, it wasn't like that I actually had a number of times with my eating disorder or my psychotic kept said, Well, you're not bad enough or it needs to get worse before it gets better. And that's why I really disagree is I don't think things need to get worse before they get better because things really did get worse

And then it's a lot harder to get better and recovery takes a lot longer. Um, but it's great come full circle because I'm back here at the Mental Health Museum, which is in Field Hospital and where I have actually been a patient. And to come here and do something positive and the sun shining, it just feels really good and that, you know, the corridor doors still look clinical inside

But then the Mental Health Museum and this kind of sanctuary in the middle is full of greenery in space. So that feels really positive, actually, um, but then it's also good, like looking in the museum, reflecting back on the asylum systems locally because once you kind of inter mental health, you really get into it as a kind of patient, even though I don't like that word and someone who now works in it and and seeing how the treatment has changed over the years, but also the similarities that we still face today. Like there's some beautiful stitching from people at the asylum in the museum, and I've spoken to people who was saying how much but it was in the asylum than it was out in society at the time

Um, so I think again, we might be shocked at, like the padded cell inside. But at the same time, I'm still on loads of medication and there's a certain part of that. But I feel like it's a bit like a padded cell today

Um, so I think recovery is an ongoing healing journey. Um, but it is optimistic it's not. I never say I'll be recovered

I just say that I'm now hopeful for the future and that everyone has hope.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.