Peer support for people in crisis: Reflections for development of services

Peer support for people in crisis: Reflections for development of services

We’re very excited to introduce this fantastic thought piece about peer support for people in crisis, which has been funded by Health Education England (HEE), and developed by ourselves, the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and With-you Consultancy

This document aims to bring together our existing knowledge and experience of peer-based approaches in crisis services. Included is the experience of peer support for diverse communities and throughout there are stories of personal experience to illustrate a range of views on crisis settings and the potential for peer support.

Our Director of Client Services, Heather Tattersall, has been on the HEE Task and Finish Group and subsequent Implementation Group for Peer Support as an emerging role in mental health services. Heather co-authored this reflective document. You can read the document by taking a look at the below flipsnack or download it here.

World Mental Health Day: #wmhd2020

World Mental Health Day blog series


by anonymous 

World Mental Health Day is an international day for global mental health to education, raise awareness and advocate against social stigma. Today, as a guest blogger for The Cellar Trust, I want to share with you the things that have helped with my own mental health – pre and post COVID and how this has lead me to be where I am today.

To put it into perspective – A few years ago, I really struggled with my own mental health. I ruminated negative thoughts about myself and worried about what others thought about me, I struggled to enjoy my everyday life and hobbies and I struggled to motivate myself to achieve anything because I didn’t feel good enough to do so. BUT! I reached out to MyWellbeing College and engaged in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with them, to learn techniques to control and challenge negative thoughts, manage my worries and improve my motivation which as a result helped me to start enjoying my life again. I continue to use these invaluable techniques today!

Because my mind wasn’t consumed with negativity, I was able to think about what I wanted to do with my life and even pick up some new hobbies – pre and post COVID! I have always loved making things – I remember when I was 7 or 8 making 3D owls out of paper or how much I enjoyed textiles at school. So, I ordered a colourful elephant paint by numbers (more modern than Elmer) and some pretty floral embroidery sets (Amazon trusted orders, of course!), to set me back off making something I can be proud of but also enjoy along the way!

With COVID we’ve not been able to enjoy time with friends and family like we might be used to! So, I continued with the painting and embroidery, started reading books – To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee is worth a read (it’s a classic!) and continuing to do yoga and walking my dog; Millie (a cute little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel). But, I also made time and cherished facetime my friends and family, as we all know human’s are social beings and we need that human connection – best to get it anyway we can!

I’ve come to realise the key to managing my own mental health is Balance, making sure I have a good balance of work (and something I find meaningful), productive tasks, time alone doing things I enjoy, socialise, and not to forget – self-care…It’s so important! But reminding myself that our lives are ever changing and even the things we find meaningful or things we enjoy can change over time so it’s important to recognise and enjoy the journey – challenging the negativity that comes our way (often negativity teaches us something – I try and find that in everything so I stay aware and appreciative of my experiences)!

We all have up and down days but it’s important to recognise the down days and do the things that help us have more up days than down – we are all unique so find what helps you! I love seeing myself grow each and every day and I cherish the enlightenment I now feel after completing therapy. This even led me to realise the career path for me was in mental health – to help others find their own enlightenment and enjoyment in life again. I am now a Peer Support Worker for The Cellar Trust and MyWellbeing College helping people struggling with their own mental health, to access our service and start their journey to recovery!

World Mental Health Day: Mental health for all

World Mental Health Day blog series

Mental health for all

by Masira Hans, Community Development Worker at Sharing Voices

Hi All,

As you are (hopefully) aware today (Saturday 10th October) is World Mental Health Day!

Those who know me in any capacity know how passionately I feel about normalising sadness, looking out for one another and reducing the stigma attached to mental health.

The theme this year is ‘Mental Health For All’ hence, I wanted to discuss an important topic.

The link between mental health and spirituality/religion.

Hands up,

Who has heard the phrase ‘pray the sadness away’ or ‘You are only depressed as you are so far away from your faith’ or ‘You just don’t pray enough’?


If only we could simply pray away clinical depression or an eating disorder or psychosis. If only we could do this one thing and be cured.

When the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) himself who was the closest to God and the pinnacle of spirituality experienced periods of great depression due to very normal life stressors such as bereavement, ostracisation, poverty (amongst others) how are the rest of us to be exempt from this?

The danger of the above statements is how they place the guilt back onto the individual who is already feeling so much dread and pain.

In particular with the women I am fortunate enough to support, they internalise their guilt and feel they are not worthy or loved enough as they have been inflicted with a mental illness. They are often told there is something lacking within them which results in how they are feeling.

All religions speak of care, compassion, empathy so perhaps ill mental health is actually a sign we are much closer to our religion and humanity?

Especially as for me, religion, praying, reflection should bring humility into you. A true sign of faith is sitting with those who are lower in ‘status’ than us, those who are struggling and how much we do to support and help them. Thumbing prayer beads itself should not reflect how religious we are and our mental health need not necessarily be a reflection of our faith.

It should be about our character.

What do you think?

This topic is one close to my heart, and I would love to hear some of your thoughts on this.

Please everyone, this year, let us try and be a little more compassionate. Reach out to your colleagues, friends, family, and neighbours and be the change you wish to see in the world.