Yessica's Journey Blog

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


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Service Users Redesign & Communications Sub Group

I am very excited to be part of a new Service Users Redesign and Communications Sub Group. The Norfolk and Waveney NHS Mental Health Trust has formed this new group which consists of around 8 Service Users including myself. The group consists of people from Hellesdon Hospital Service Users Council and Service Users from other organisations.  It has been formed to ensure that Service Users are included and involved in the NHS Radical Pathway Redesign Programme over the next 4 years.

A pathway is a personal journey through the NHS Mental Health System – what care you will get, what service and treatments you will get and most importantly the quality of those services and care you will receive on your pathway. It is about finding new ways, new ideas to help shape a better and much improved NHS system for Mental Health – quite a challenge I think, especially as the NHS is faced with huge budget cuts.

The Service Users Communication groups aim is about helping to get the Service Users voice heard. Listening to Service Users ideas, their experiences and journeys and using this information to help redesign the different pathways in the NHS Mental Health system. Although there is obviously no guarantee that these ideas will be actually used in the end, the Trust will look at this information and it will go to the right people who are leading the different pathways within the NHS. The groups aim is also to promote awareness about the different pathways to other service users and try and find ways of getting Service Users more involved in the process – it is focussed on communicating the message about the pathways effectively to others.

I was thrilled to be asked by Greta Neiss who is the Radical Pathway Redesign Lead at Hellesdon Hospital to give a comment which may go in the next Pathway Newsletter. Here is my quote:

‘I see the new ‘Service Users Redesign & Communications Sub Group’, as an opportunity for us to share our experience, knowledge and ideas with the Trust to help to improve Mental Health and Wellbeing within the NHS. I feel very passionately about trying to give Service Users a voice to be heard – it’s about good communication – sharing, listening and learning from each other and hopefully this group will help to achieve that.’

This is such an exciting chance for me to be involved in this group and I never thought I would have an opportunity to help redesign anything let alone a new and hopefully much improved NHS system. I really do hope that I can make a small difference and that the Trust and others will listen not only to myself but to all the service users out there who have so much knowledge and experience to share. I really do believe that together Service Users and the Trust and other organisations can rise to the challenge to improve the NHS. It will be a challenge and some ideas will have to be radical but I also believe that sometimes the most simplest ideas often work just as well.

I think it is important to learn from the voice of the Service Users, the Trust and other organisations what actually works within the system as much as what clearly does not work. To redesign anything I think you have to do the ground work first – research, gain knowledge and understanding from the information, before you can even attempt to radically change anything to improve it. I hope that by looking at many different Service Users experiences and ideas that if several peoples views are all saying the same thing, that those repeated patterns of thought will hopefully help to formulate new ideas, improvements and highlight what is going wrong in the system as well as highlight what is working well within it.

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Yessica’s Journey Meeting with Wellcome Trust

Marie-Lise who is the Arts Grants Adviser from the Wellcome Trust came down from London today to have a meeting with myself, Oz Osborne – Community Mental Health Project Manager at Mind in Yarmouth and Charlie Gauvain Managing Director of Eye Film and TV. We had a successful meeting and I am now in the process of putting in an extension awards application with the help of Charlie and Oz to help raise more funds for the Yessica’s Journey project. Thank you to Oz, Charlie and Marie-Lise for your time and support.

I have received some fantastic testimonials from the organisations and would like to thank the following people for their kind words of support.

Oz Osborne – Community Mental Health Project Manager at
Mind in Yarmouth

Peter Gianfrancesco – Chief Executive at
Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind

Peter Edge – Mental Health Nurse Central Norfolk Early Intervention in Psychosis Team Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Trust
Maggie Wheeler – Chair Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Trust
Roz Brooks – Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety, Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Trust
Michel SyrettEditor, Pendulum Bipolar UK
Clare Dolman – Research Editor Pendulum and Chair of the national bipolar charity Bipolar UK (formerly MDF the Bipolar Organisation)

Special thanks to Peter Gianfrancesco, Peter Edge and Oz Osborne for giving me your time to talk to you and your patience and thank-you to Marie-Lise and the Wellcome Trust for giving me the opportunity to complete this project, for your support and for offering to help with further funding.

The project has grown so much and is going to take a lot longer than I originally anticipated. When I applied with my original application in 2010 I was still feeling unwell and had no idea really what I was doing. I guess I had not put in enough research into the costs or indeed thought about the length of time it would take to do an animation of this scale. I have learnt so much from doing this project, not only has it helped me to get well and opened so many doors for me but I have also had the priviledge of meeting so many lovely people who have become a huge part of my life and who have given me so much help and support. I have learnt so much and gained a huge amount of knowledge from this project and although at times it has been very difficult for me, it has been worth it.

I am now in the process of creating a storyboard which will be done in several parts as the animation is anticipated to be around 14 minutes long. I am really enjoying the creative process and love drawing and creating meaningful art.