Yessica's Journey Blog

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


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Yessica’s Journey NHS Mentors – Huge thank you to Roz Brooks and Welcome to New Mentors Michele Allott and Graham Creelman

© Copyright 2013 Anastacia Tohill. All rights reserved. Please do not copy or download images or text.

I would like to thank Roz Brooks for all her support and help on the ‘Yessica’s Journey’ project as my mentor. Roz is the Director of Nursing and Patient Safety at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and is sadly leaving at the end of the month. She has been my mentor for several years and has helped me so much.  She has always given me her time even though she is incredibly busy and is someone who has always got back to me which I do appreciate.  She also has a great sense of humor so I have enjoyed our meetings. She helped and supported me to apply for further funding from the NHS Charitable funds earlier this year and we successfully received it to make some of the puppets for the animation, so huge thanks to Roz, Maggie Wheeler, Graham Creelman and the Trust.

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From Left to Right – Mentor Meeting with Roz Brooks Director of Nursing and Patient Safety, Michele Allott Deputy Director of Nursing and Patient Safety at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Anastacia

Maggie Wheeler was also my mentor and left earlier this year. She was the Chair of the Trust and also helped and supported me with Roz throughout the project. Maggie showed a genuine interest in my project and also helped support the Charitable funding bid. She has always been so enthusiastic and encouraging. I have stayed in touch with Maggie which is great, she has a great sense of humor so I have enjoyed working with her. Maggie is now the Chair of the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance and Chair of the Garage and is an Associate at Foresight Partnership . Gary Page is the New Chair at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust and I wish him well in his new role at the Trust. Please click here to see earlier Blog about Maggie.

I will really miss Maggie and Roz as I enjoyed working with both of them. Thanks for putting up with me and keep in touch.  I would also like to thank both of you for your help earlier this year and last year when I had a relapse – I appreciate all the help and support you gave me and thank you both and will always be grateful to the Trust for the help I received through my care when I was unwell.

Maggie Wheeler Chair of the Trust from the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Anastacia - Yessica's Journey Meeting

Maggie Wheeler Chair of the Trust from the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Anastacia . Maggie has been one of the mentors for the Yessica’s Journey project

I am so pleased to announce that Michele Allott is one of my new mentors for the project at the NHS. Michele is the Deputy Director of Nursing and Patient Safety at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. She has already been a huge help and she really has shown a genuine interest in the project. I would like to welcome Michele to the project and look forward to working with her in the future. We have already had a meeting together with Roz and I showed them the progress and development of the project. Please see picture below. They both suggested that we promote the project more within the NHS which is great and I am looking forward to working with Michele.

Michele has worked for many years within the NHS and has a background in Mental Health, her experience and knowledge will be a huge benefit to the project.

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From Left to Right – Mentor Meeting with Roz Brooks Director of Nursing and Patient Safety, Michele Allott Deputy Director of Nursing and Patient Safety at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Anastacia

I am pleased to announce that Graham Creelman who is the Non-Executive Director, Deputy Chair and Senior Independent Director at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is also my new mentor for the ‘Yessica’s Journey’ Project. Graham joined the project earlier this year and has been a huge help to the project already and I would like to welcome him to the project. I have shown Graham the progress of the project.

He has had a long career in journalism, film making and production. He was also the managing director of Anglia TV and director of regional programming for the ITV network. Graham is currently a consultant on creativity within organisations including the Norwich University of the Arts which is where I worked for 15 years and also did my degree. He also has an OBE for services to broadcasting. Grahams experience in film making and creativity will be a huge help to the project.

Graham Creelman Non Executive Director at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Graham Creelman Non Executive Director at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust – showing Graham the development of the project

I have been very lucky with all the mentors I have had from the NHS. Michele and Graham will be fantastic for the project and I can’t thank them enough for their time and patience.

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From Left to Right – Mentor Meeting with Roz Brooks Director of Nursing and Patient Safety, Michele Allott Deputy Director of Nursing and Patient Safety at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

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Graham Creelman Non Executive Director at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

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From Left to Right – Mentor Meeting with Roz Brooks Director of Nursing and Patient Safety, Michele Allott Deputy Director of Nursing and Patient Safety at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

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Suzie Hanna Joins the Yessicas Journey Project as Production Advisor

© Copyright 2013 Anastacia Tohill. All rights reserved Please do not download or copy images and text

Suzie Hanna Production Advisor and Anastacia

Suzie Hanna Production Advisor and Anastacia

I am pleased to announce that Suzie Hanna is helping me on the Yessica’s Journey project as a Production Advisor. She is Professor in Animation Education, Senior Lecturer in Animation and Course Leader in MA Animation & Sound Design at the Norwich University of the Arts.

I have known Suzie for many years, since I was in my twenties. We worked together at the Norwich University of Arts, when I was a Digital Media Technician and Suzie was Course Leader on the BA Hons Animation Degree course. Later in 2006 she became my tutor when I decided to do a degree in Animation. She is an excellent teacher and I have learnt so much from her, so really pleased she is involved.

Her skills and knowledge in animation has been a huge help to me and she is kindly helping out on a voluntary basis. She has already been working with me on the script to help improve it especially in getting it to work better for the wider audience. We are also trying to cut it down as the animation is far too long. I have tended to try and put too much content into the script so it is time to let some of it go which is really hard but I know it will improve it.

Most of the time I have been unwell whilst working on it but now I am feeling much better I can finally let go. It will make the message of the film much stronger and also help people to understand and follow a storyline which will keep people interested in watching it.

Sometimes I just could not think straight and I would be constantly coming up with new ideas and changing my mind. I have tended to have so many ideas in my head which is great but you have to be able to focus which has been hard at times. When you find it hard to concentrate and lack motivation everything becomes a huge mountain to climb.

My perfectionism has sometimes contributed to huge delays in the project but at the same time it has helped drive a high standard in the overall quality of the animation. Life is not perfect and neither are we, to be content and just learn to simply ‘be’ is more important. To strive for perfection is striving for something which is impossible to reach. It can have its advantages as well as disadvantages much like Bipolar but if you can find a healthy balance then this can be key to improving your wellbeing . If we are never satisfied and we feel our best is never good enough it will only lead to worry and self doubt. I found this interesting quote from the artist Salvador Dali which sums it up.

‘Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. ~Salvador Dali’

The script has constantly changed and developed since we first started it in 2010 so I am looking forward to finally finishing it. Animation is so time consuming and as I have lost so much time through being unwell it will help to make the project achievable. Suzie’s advice is invaluable and I can’t thank her enough.

Oz Osborne Production Manager and Suzie Hanna Production Advisor

Oz Osborne Production Manager and Suzie Hanna Production Advisor

Oz Osborne who is now the Production Manager meeting Suzie for the first time, see picture above. Oz has continued to work with me since 2010 and is also helping with the script development. His help has been invaluable and I am so pleased he is now the Production Manager. I really feel I have got a good team helping me and after my relapse last year I feel more confident is getting the animation finished.