Yessica's Journey Blog

Welcome to the Yessica's Journey Blog Site, a Journey through Mental Health, Wellbeing and Creativity.

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Images of Yessica’s Armature

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© Copyright Anastacia Tohill 2011. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text.

Took these images with my Canon camera. The ball and socket armature has been bought from John Wright Modelmaking, which I recommend. The armature is solid and well made and moves very well. It costs more money but its worth it especially if you are doing an animation over a long period of time.

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Making Yessica’s Body from Foam

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© Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text.

The next stage is to cover the armature with foam for Yessica’s body. The foam is glued onto the armature and cut and shaped using scissors. The body is smoothed over using a fine 1mm thick foam which is wrapped and glued around the body.

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Human Library Event at Gorleston

Human Library Website

Oz has asked me to help him design a logo and leaflet flyer for the Human Library Event he is organising next month. The logo and leaflet involves creating some vector based illustrations and constructing the Graphic Design Artwork for the flyer. I am thrilled to have been asked to do this as I am learning so much and it is also helping a great deal with my confidence and motivation. I have never created a logo before so it’s great to be asked to do this. Oz has come up with the ideas for the logo and written the leaflet.

The following information has been written by Oz Osborne who is organising the Human Library Event at Gorleston. Oz works for Great Yarmouth and Waveney Mind.

People on Loan @ the Human Library!
A Human Library is like a regular library: you enter, browse and choose a book to read. However, in the Human Library ‘books’ are people and ‘reading’ is a conversation. Borrowing a human Book can be inspiring, enriching and challenging…you might also be surprised by the people with whom you share your community. The Human Library is operating in more than 50 countries worldwide and comes to;

Marine Parade, Gorleston-on-Sea | 1 – 4pm on Saturday 30th July

and is part of the Gorleston Clifftop Festival 2011.

For details visit  Clifftop Festival   or email

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NHS Trust Mentor Peter Edge

Today I met my mentor, Peter Edge, from the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Trust. Peter is my new additional mentor from the Trust (Hellesdon Hospital), and is based locally in Norwich. He works as a Case Manager for the Early Intervention Team.

Peter came round and we spent 3 hours talking about the project. I talked about my experience of mental illness and showed him my artwork for the project. I am looking forward to working with him and I think he will contribute a great deal to the project. We are meeting in a few weeks time with Oz to talk about the feedback from the script and the changes to the animation.

I would like to thank Emilie Rayner for finding me such a good mentor from the Trust.

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MDF Bipolar Conference in London

MDF Bipolar Organisation

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© Copyright 2011 images Anastacia Tohill. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text.

I attended the MDF conference for the first time in London with my sister. I was originally invited to exhibit Yessica’s Journey but decided in the end not to as the puppet would not be ready in time and I think it would spoil the surprise of what the puppet and set look like which I am keeping a secret until the launch.

Professor Nick Craddock was there from Cardiff University BDRN Research team. He was doing a workshop on ‘How to take control of our lives’. There were various other speakers during the day from the MDF organisation and a really interesting talk from the father of someone who suffers from Bipolar. There was also a talk on Mindfullness which to me seems very similar to lots of other theories and very much like Yoga disciplines. I think a lot of these theories are all similar, it’s just every few years someone comes up with a new word for it.

We had lunch and a chance to look around the stands which offered information about various organisations including research and the BDRN organisation.

The day finished with a talk from Dr Rachel Perkins OBE – The future of Mental Health Services. She had such a great sense of humor. I have always thought that Mental Health needs more humor, people take things too seriously and a bit more laughter goes a long way, especially for our mental health and wellbeing. Rachel has Bipolar and has a background in clinical psychology. She is a long term user of mental health services. She really made me laugh.

I really enjoyed the day especially the question and answer forum which gave a lot of the delegates a chance to talk and ask questions. A lot of people spoke about their own experiences which I found really useful. Several people were echoing similar experiences to my own, especially about the problems within the health service. I found this really helpful and a relief that I am not alone.

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Last Volunteer Group Meeting

We had our last Volunteer Sub Group Meeting at Hellesdon Hospital for the Service Users Council. We decided that there was no need to have any more meeting as we felt we had done all we could to help.

Hellesdon has now employed a new role to help improve volunteer services. Pene Kenrick Ward is the new Voluntary Services Manager. I was thrilled to hear the news and would like to congratulate Pene on her new role.

I am looking forward to applying to be a volunteer at Hellesdon. I am interested in working within the Art department and admin if possible. I enquired about volunteering last year through the project but they were not taking on any volunteers at that time.

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Meeting with Oz Osborne about Script Feedback

I had a meeting with Oz today about the script feedback and in particular Franks suggestions. We both agreed he had made some very valid and useful comments which would help to improve the script. We came up with several ideas. The main changes would effect the end narration.

I find this really difficult to cut stuff out of the script when everything to me seems so important and essential to keep in.

I have also decided to put in an extra scene because of the feedback from the organisations and I think this will help the animation. I had already put this scene in a while ago but decided to take it out because of the time and increase in the length of film.

The meeting was really successful and I would like to thank Oz for his time and continued support on this project.

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Meeting with Frank from Eye Film and TV

Eye Film and TV Website

Met with Frank today from Eye Film and TV. Frank is the creative Director. We discussed the feedback from the script. Frank and Charlie were the only professional people are asked to read the script from a film background so their comments were really useful.

The meeting went really well and Frank suggested a few changes which he felt would help enhance the animation. He kindly offered to go through the script and highlight areas that he felt could be improved.

I would like to thank Frank for his support and his time.

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NLP Steering Group Hellesdon Hospital

Hellesdon Hospital where I attend Service Users and NLP Meetings

Went to the second meeting at Hellesdon for the NLP steering group. I expressed my concern over a few important issues. I am looking forward to the next meeting as the group is going to demonstrate what NLP is and I am going to observe.

Someone on the committee described NLP to me as taking all the good bits from all the different therapies and placing them into NLP.

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Emilie is leaving Hellesdon Hospital

Emilie Rayner is leaving Hellesdon Hospital for a new job. Emilie was my project contact at Hellesdon for the Trust. She worked in Marketing and has helped me a great deal so I will be sorry to see her go.

I would like to thank Emilie Rayner for all her help and support with Yessica’s Journey.  I wanted to thank her for putting me in touch with the service users council. It led me to becoming a member which I thoroughly enjoy now. It has given me a chance to meet other people who have similar problems to me and to meet staff at Hellesdon Hospital and perhaps help to try and improve the system in mental health and become more involved. It has also given me a lot of confidence, something which is very important when you are ill as its one of the first things you lose and prevents you from doing so much. I wish her well and hope to keep in touch.

I would also like to thank Emilie for finding me a mentor for the Trust based in Norwich. I am looking forward to working with Helen Abbott who is replacing Emilie in her role as Marketing Co-ordinator.

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Meeting with Peter at Mind

Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind Website

I met with Peter Gianfrancesco who is the Chief Executive of Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind. Peter is one of my Mentors on the project. We had  a discussion about the script feedback. Peter had completed my questionnaire which we discussed. This was really helpful and the meeting was very successful.

It is great to be able to meet with people who work in Mental Health to discuss the script. I would like to thank Peter for his time and support.

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Feedback for Script

I managed to get feedback from most of the organisations about the script. I also asked other people I knew working in Mental Health and some people who have a mental health illness. I sent out a document which contained all the feedback and a questionnaire form to the organisations. I am meeting with several people locally to discuss the feedback. The script was successful and most people liked it and thought it was much darker and showed psychosis really well. One organisation thought that the script was not as positive in the recovery part compared to the first script.

I intend taking on board everyones comments and using this feedback to enhance and improve the script. I am also aware that I need to be careful as I am never going to please everyone and this animation is most importantly about part of my journey which is unique to me.

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Victorian Gothic Set

image of fireplace from set being built

© Copyright 2011 Anastacia Tohill. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text.

Image supplied by David Neat. Scenic Artist and Model Maker David Neat. Set design based on a Real Gothic Room and by Anastacia Tohill and David Neat.

David Neats Website

This is one of the images from the set construction being built. David Neat is building the set and it looks absolutely amazing, totally blew me away when I saw it. I will only be posting this image as I want the set to be a surprise when the animation comes out but this will give you some idea of what it looks like. Part of the set design is based on a real Gothic Victorian room. It has been designed by myself and David.