Yessica's Journey Blog

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

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Exciting News – The Wellcome Trust has given additional funding to the Yessica’s Journey Animation Project

The Wellcome Trust Website

© Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text.

FANTASTIC NEWS for 2012 The Wellcome Trust has kindly given additional funding to the
‘Yessica’s Journey’ Animation Project – Thank You.

In March 2012 Yessica’s Journey’ has been successful in applying for additional funding from the Wellcome Trust. They have kindly given a substantial sum of money in addition to their original funding for the project. I would like to thank Marie-Lise Sheppard who is the Grants Advisor and works in Grants Management for her support, help and understanding. I would also like to thank the Wellcome Trust organisation for its continued support and for believing in this project.

Anastacia Tohill, Director/Producer and Animator for the project and Charlie Gauvain who is the new Support Coordinator for the project and works as a Producer/Executive Producer at Eye Film and TV  successfully put in an application in January 2012 to apply for additional funding. Oz Osborne, Wellbeing Mentor and one of the Scriptwriters for the project and works at Time to Change also contributed to the funding application. I would like to thank Charlie and Oz for all their support and help and also to welcome Charlie to the project in his new role.

I would also like to thank the following people and organisations for their continued help and for their supportive Testimonials which we sent with the funding application form. Thank you for your kind words, encouragement and time.

Oz Osborne – Rural Equalities Coordinator with Time to Change and Freelance Community Wellbeing Mentor
Peter Gianfrancesco – Chief Executive at Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind
Peter Edge – The Wellbeing Service at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Maggie Wheeler – Chair of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Roz Brooks – Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Michel SyrettEditor, Pendulum Magazine Bipolar UK
Clare Dolman – Research Editor Pendulum and Chair of the National Bipolar Charity Bipolar UK (formerly MDF the Bipolar Organisation)
Dr Ian Jones – Reader in Perinatal Psychiatry, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics,Department of Psychological Medicine and Neurology BDRN Research Network

I appreciate all the organisations continued support with the project and everyone in the project team who has helped with the ‘Yessica’s Journey’ project. We also sent the Script Feedback document which many people contributed to last year with the application. Thank you again to everyone who contributed to the Script Feedback Document.

Many Thanks to Everyone

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Yessica’s Journey Welcomes the New Support Coordinator Charlie Gauvain

Eye Film and Television

Charlie is the new Support Coordinator for the project ‘Yessica’s Journey’ which has been kindly funded by the Wellcome Trust. His main role is to support the Director and monitor and report on the progression of the project. He will also be helping with Advice/Finance/Marketing/Advertising and DVD authoring of the film. I would like to welcome Charlie to the project.

© Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text. Image supplied by Charlie Gauvain.

Charlie began his career working in feature films in the USA in 1994. Working as a producer and director’s assistant on low budget features before moving onto 20th Century Fox’s Independence Day in New York, as a location’s assistant. On returning to the UK Charlie established his own production company and produced/directed his first short film, which was picked up by Sky Movies as part of their short film showcase. In 1998 Charlie began working with Eye Film and TV as an assistant producer on a series for Channel 4, Nosey Money.  By 2000 Charlie had become a company director and was producer of Eye’s output. In 2004 Charlie became MD and over the past 7 years has produced, executive produced or series produced over 70 hours of documentary and drama for C4, ITV, BBC, Five, UKTV, Crime and Investigation and Animal Planet.

Most recently Charlie produced a student online drama Tempting Fates (16 x 12’) the feature documentary The Trials of Amanda Knox for More4’s True Stories – examining the role of the media in the case of the British student, Meredith Kercher, murdered in Italy and those accused of her murder and a sub £1m horror feature film The Reeds set on the Norfolk Broads. He is currently working on a number of projects with John Peel’s family, including turning John Peel’s Record Collection into an interactive online museum as part of an Arts Council Project called The Space.

Charlie was Chair of the Television Business Network in the East of England, TV Eden 2004-2010 and has represented the Midlands and East on The Producers Alliance of Cinema and Television’s Board (PACT).

He has two very creative daughters, who he hopes will fullfil their potential at an early age so that he can relax and concentrate on the projects he really wants to do!

Charlie was originally working on the project last year and was the Business Affairs Advisor. Charlie was in charge of all the contracts for the project. Charlie works at Eye Film and Television as a Managing Director and Producer/Executive Producer. I met Charlie in 2008 when I worked on a pilot for a children’s television animation series. The project included working with NUCA, Film and Media Digital Exchange (FDMX) and Eye Film and Television. This was partly funded by Screen East. I animated and made one stop motion puppet and animated an object in stop motion using magnets. I was also the Art Assistant for the project.

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Time to Change Village Event in London

Time to Change Village Website Article

© Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text. Screenshot Images from showreel, films supplied by Time to Change.

Screen shot from film 'Ben and Ellie's Fifth Date' for Time to Change Showreel

I was thrilled to be asked by Oz Osborne who works for Time to Change to put a showreel together of some of their films with some words and logos fading in and out. This was for the Time to Change Village Event which was held on Saturday 31st in London (see link above for more information). The Village was Oz’s idea and he helped organise the event as part of a small team. The event was very successful.

Screenshot from the showreel film - Ben and Ellie's 5th Date

I only had a few days to do it but managed to get it done in time. It was shown to the public in the Cinema part of the Village. I was also paid so that was great. I was so lucky to be given this opportunity and really enjoyed it. It has really helped with my confidence, self esteem and motivation. Sometimes when you are unwell your confidence is one of the first things to go and doing something like this has really given me a boost. I was really proud as well to be doing something for the Time to Change campaign which is about making people more aware about Mental Health and trying to stop discrimination and stigma associated with it. The campaign encourages people to talk about their Mental Health Difficulties and they actively use volunteers and employ people with Mental Health Difficulties.

Text Written by Oz Osborne for Time to Change Village Showreel

The caption above was written by Oz Osborne and he designed the showreel format. I produced the showreel using After Effects. Below is a slideshow of some of the image screenshots from the showreel films. I hope to get some images from the event which I will put on my blog later. I was supposed to go to the event as a volunteer but felt too unwell and unconfident to go so it was nice to be involved, even though I couldn’t be there.

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Logo from Time to Change

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Thank you to Ella Goodwin for the Yessica’s Journey Website

Ella Behance Website

Ella Website

I would like to thank Ella Goodwin for all the work she has done on the ‘Yessica’s Journey’ Website. She has worked very hard on it and I think it looks great and she really has done a fantastic job. The website has been really useful and I am really glad we got it produced quite early on in the project. It is the main source of showing people what the project is about and who is involved. Ella designed and produced the website using Adobe Flash software. I contributed to some design ideas and mainly the content of the site.

Ella Goodwin with her Pink VW Beetle Car

© Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text. Image supplied by Ella Goodwin.

Ella is a freelance Illustrator. She also specialises in Animation and Graphic Design, which she studied to a Masters Level concentrating on narrative for children and development. Her passion is for visual storytelling and whimsical illustration often highly detailed using traditional and digital mediums. Her background is in Animation and Web Design and has included online interactive exhibitions, band sites, Children’s TV microsites and work for commercial enterprise.

Ella and I will be designing the new Educational Interactive Site later on in the project. This will be interactive and will include animation.

For more details about Ella please visit the ‘Yessica’s Journey’ Website under the Animation Project Team Button, then select the website button on the right hand side of the page.


Taking Small Steps to get Well

© Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images/text.

After being recently very unwell, the good news is I am feeling much better now, but still have a long way to go. I am now on medication again – thank goodness for medication and seeing my GP every two weeks who has been absolutely fantastic. Through the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust I was advised to go their Wellbeing Service which has a Ready to Change website. You can self refer or get your GP to refer you.

They advised me to use a really good website called Living Life to the Full. You can join the website and access really good information about how to help yourself and wellbeing. At times I found it hard to access so in the end I purchased some books which I prefer. I recently purchased 10 little books, they are great and very simple, easy to follow and understand which is exactly what you need when you are feeling unwell. I find it hard to focus, concentrate and read so these books are ideal and give you good tips for getting well and helping yourself. I also bought a much bigger book called ‘Overcoming Depression and Low Mood’ but I am not up to reading that yet.

I was also referred to a link worker who was so lovely and helpful to me, best link worker I have ever had. I also have to see a psychiatrist soon. I am hoping to get a talking therapy, which is something I have always felt I needed since 2008. I strongly believe that by talking you can help yourself come to terms with what has happened to you, help you to learn to accept it and understand it. This may not help everyone but for me it is something I have always felt I needed and never got through the NHS. I understand there are probably people far worse off than me with less support and the NHS has limited funds available. I believe that many people live in fear for all sorts of reasons but it is not good to bottle things up, it is much better to talk to someone, someone you can trust, it usually makes you feel better when you talk to someone who is supportive and positive. When you become unwell you often become very negative with your thinking so you need to talk to people who are positive thinking and can give you hope, encouragement and confidence. You can also become very isolated and lonely so talking and meeting people is so important.

Tips which can help.
I found some other little useful books which helped and were easy to read. I bought them from Inanna’s Festival shop in Norwich – gifts laced with magic and mystery. I love this shop. I bought several books  – Elf help for overcoming depression, Keeping up your spirits therapy, and worry therapy. They are great little books with little illustrations, easy to read. You can just dip into them and refer back to them. They have loads more self help books and they are small and easy to read.

I have found what has helped me the most is having a supportive family, friends, GP, Medication, Self Help and Acceptance and taking responsibility. I also find writing, reading and creative work, my animation very helpful. Exercise and sleep is also important and so is your diet. I have recently tried to change my diet to eating porridge for breakfast as it starts your metabolism off, eating a banana every day as is it is good for energy. You also need to do exercise, Be Active, as it helps you feel better and try and get in some sort of routine, find an interest, a hobby, something you enjoy, keep busy and just take each day as it comes. Take notice of the beauty in nature, go for walks. Keep learning new skills, new interests. Help someone else, give and it will help you feel better as well as the other person. Talk to people, anyone who you can trust, talking can help rather than bottling problems and worries up, make sure you don’t become isolated, connect with other people, often others can give you a lift, just one little word and it can help a tremendous amount. It won’t happen overnight, just take small steps each day, make small goals and talk to people and don’t be afraid to ask for help from anyone if you need it. I am certainly not doing all of this yet, not well enough, it takes time but hopefully I will get there and I know it can sometimes work.

I strongly believe in the Five Ways to Wellbeing, Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. It really does work but it takes time and does not happen overnight, you really have to make an effort and try even though it is so hard just don’t give up, take small manageable steps.

Getting well and staying well is not easy, we are all unique and what will work for one person will not work as well for another, you have to find your own way and you have to make the decision to want to get better and change in order to do it, then you are on your way. I strongly believe everyone is capable of improving their wellbeing but it is not easy, it takes time, a lot of strength, courage and commitment and a willingness to want to change and accept you are having difficulties, I hope this blog helps in some way and offers HOPE. Wellness in people will be different, it’s about finding a way to manage, cope and lead a fullfilling life.

Please note all links to organisations and professional help are on the right hand side of the blog under Links which will have really good advice for Mental Health and Wellbeing as well as links throughout this text article to the professional expert organisations who help people with Mental Health Difficulties.

For further information about Yessica’s Journey the animation I am directing please go to the website.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I know sometimes my blogs are quite long.