A Peer Support Worker who uses her personal experiences of mental difficulties to help others will stress the importance of recovery and share examples of the good practice in place at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) at a conference this week.
Amanda Green, who works with the Waveney Recovery Team based in Lowestoft, has been invited to give the keynote speech at the launch of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Recovery Strategy on Friday, 8 February.
During her presentation, she will talk about how she has used recovery principles to successfully manage her own mental health, before explaining how NSFT has rolled out the recovery model across Norfolk and Suffolk. She will also talk about the Trust’s Recovery College and her role as a Peer Support Worker (PSW), which sees her use her experience of mental difficulties to help others.
“I was delighted to be invited to speak at the conference as I am passionate about recovery,” said Amanda, who is well-versed in public speaking after previously working as an actor. “It is a holistic model which encourages you to build on people’s strengths and look at them as a whole rather than a series of symptoms which need to be fixed. It’s where my heart lies and there is a lot of evidence which shows it is a great way to work.
“I have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, which stopped my life for a number of years. I was a real victim of it and made several attempts on my own life and would also self-harm. The recovery model helped to give me the skills I needed to learn to live much more harmoniously alongside my mental difficulties.
“I started working as a peer tutor at NSFT’s Recovery College around five years ago and went onto become a PSW in 2017. I see the job as a real privilege – I genuinely love it when someone becomes a success story and no longer needs our help.
“At the conference, I’ll be talking about what it’s like to be a PSW and some of the challenges I have faced. PSWs have a foot in both camps and are expected to relate to service users and align ourselves with them, but also carry ourselves professionally as part of the clinical team, which can be something of a balancing act.
“I’ll also be explaining more about NSFT’s Recovery Strategy and the way we involved service users and carers in its production, which I believe is vital if you want to make services better for everybody. I’ll also be talking about our Recovery College, which is a real place of optimism and hope which helps people to focus on the positives rather than dwelling on the negative aspects of mental illness.
“I’m really looking forward to speaking at the conference as it will be a great opportunity to share some of the excellent work taking place at NSFT with a wider audience.”
For more information about NSFT’s Recovery College, which is open to service users, carers and staff, click here.
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