A MENTAL health centre has opened its doors to the public to show how it is helping members of the community deal with their illness.
Rethink Mental Illness in Pennybank House, Ashbourne Road, Leek, held an open day on Thursday, February 28, to give the public the chance to see what the service offers and to meet some of its service users and volunteers.
Rethink offers open house sessions, one to one support, peer support groups and volunteering and vocational activities.
Access to the Rethink Staffordshire Moorlands Community Service is by referral, or people can self-refer to the service, or ask any other supporting person to assist them in applying.
This could be a GP, psychiatric nurse (CPN), social worker, psychiatrist, occupational therapist, carer or any other agency / key worker.
Greg Davis has been a service user with Rethink Mental Illness for around three years.
He said: “I enjoy coming to Pennybank House because I socialise with others who also have a mental illness, which helps me.
“I have support from my Mental Health Recovery Worker Helen Poole who supports me in completing a recovery plan and setting out new goals.”
Mark Cope recently became a volunteer at Rethink having been a service user for around six years.
He said: “I find volunteering very productive and has helped me to interact with others, especially taking on the role of designing the quarterly newsletter for the service.
“I find volunteering with Rethink is fulfilling, knowing that I am helping others who are going through similar issues to those I have been through.
“Through my personal development and support I have now gone on to secure a job locally, and will continue volunteering with Rethink Mental Illness.” Service user Amanda Roche has been going to Rethink Mental Illness for just over a year now.
She said: “I moved into supported housing in Cheadle, and then started to attend the community service in Cheadle.
“I love attending and it helps me to not become isolated. I get to meet others who also live in the local area as when I moved to Cheadle I didn’t know anyone.
“I enjoy attending the service because I feel safe; I am not judged and everyone is understanding. I find that every time I go I feel better.
“At Holbrook House in Cheadle I run the music group, and enjoy taking part in the art group and the pool tournaments. I enjoy expressing my creativity during Rethink Mental Illness events.
“I’m quite keen on getting younger people to know about our service and about mental illness, and I would definitely recommend the service for advice and support."
For further information on Rethink Mental Illness phone 0300 5000927 or email email@example.com.