Participation Post - Issue 4

Welcome to the 4th issue of the Participation Post newsletter.

Formula to achieve goals Introducing

The Formulation is a collaborative process between service users, carers, and staff. The aim of formulation is to help people understand how their mental health difficulties develop, what keeps them going and what is needed to achieve goals and feel better.

To help to facilitate the process of formulation, NSFT staff, service users, and carers teamed up to create a formulation tool. The five boxes on the tool relate to different factors that affect someone’s mental health, including what’s happening now, what’s happened in the past, triggers, things that keep the problem going, and protectors and strengths. When completing a formulation, staff and service users work together to fill in each of the boxes.

Currently, we are training staff across the Trust to use the formulation tool. Co-production has been key throughout the creation and training of the tool so far and we want to continue this. Feedback from staff has highlighted how helpful having the perspective of people with lived experience in training has been.

We’re looking for service users and carers who are willing to contribute to the training sessions by sharing their experience of using formulation. Currently training sessions are being run via MS Teams and last 2.5-3 hours. They are facilitated by members of staff and you can contribute as much or as little as you are comfortable with.

If you are interested in this opportunity or have any questions, please contact Georgina Forden (trainee clinical psychologist; or Charlotte Wheeler (assistant Psychologist; charlotte.wheeler@ to learn more.


Lucy North, People Participation Lead for Norfolk Children, Families and Young People Care Group

Hello everyone! My name is Lucy North and I am the new People Participation Lead for Norfolk and Waveney’s Children Families and Young People.

I have lived experience of mental health recovery as a young person and have been a service user in participation so I know first hand the importance of having the voices of our young people and their families and carers at the centre of everything we do. It is because of my experiences that I began to work in mental health as a peer support worker with the Wellbeing Service before starting my new role within participation in April.

My vision for the future is to actively involve as many children, young people, and their families and carers in participation as possible, listening to your feedback, involving you in projects and groups. I also want to work within our care group to implement change to provide the best quality service we can, not only for you but for those who may use our services in the future.

If you would like to get involved, I would love to hear from you! So if you have any feedback or ideas you would like to share then please feel free to contact me at

Talking about psychosis

Early Intervention Peer Support Workers Terry and Jason have created podcasts to support the work they are doing. The pair, who work in Norwich, have lived experience of psychosis.

“As Peer Support Workers we felt that it would be helpful to speak about psychosis in podcasts using the CHIME framework. CHIME is an acronym for (Connections, Hope, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment). This is something both myself and Jason could relate to having been affected in our lives when we developed psychosis,” said Terry.

“Rebuilding these things back into our lives played an important role in both of our recovery journeys as did the other topics we talk about thereafter, so we thought this would be a good place to begin.

“Psychosis can look so different to different people so, rather than choosing topics about delusions, hallucinations or paranoia or any other bold headings, we decided to focus attention on the struggle that psychosis can bring to our lives.” Other topics covered are feeling lost, relationships, stigma, managing symptoms, acceptance, creativity, medication, drugs, and spirituality. Find the podcasts at

New group for people with autism

Laura Cox talks about improving participation for people with autism.

The central Norwich Community Mental Health Team autism group was started following feedback from our community patients with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis or those awaiting assessments.

Working with a Green Light approach within our community roles, we identified there was a gap in support and awareness within this patient group. 

Myself, a learning disability nurse, along with Lucy Hutchinson and four service users began creating the idea of an ASD group, available to community service users, partners, families and carers.

The aim is to learn together, increase awareness and eventually hope the group will evolve with subcategories for carers and an ASD people participation forum.

The invitations, group layout, structure and session content were all designed and planned with lots of input from our four founding service users. 

The group began in June 2021 and is currently held on a monthly basis at Hellesdon Hospital.

At present, it includes people currently receiving treatment from the Community Mental Health Team and their carers as we build and develop the group and due to Covid restrictions.

People have also started to become involved with wider aspects of participation in Norwich too.

If you would like any further information, please email or call Laura at 01603 421421, ext 6469.

Creative corner

Service user Johanna first got involved with participation three months ago when attending Great Yarmouth and Waveney Hearing Voices group.

She shared some of her coping strategies, one of which was creating amazing art. Blickling Ward had just opened and the walls were bare, so PPL Gary Walker asked Johanna if some of her work could be put up.

He said: “Johanna couldn’t believe we had asked. I don’t think she realises just how good her art is.”

Johanna donated 35 pieces, telling a story of her recovery journey.

Gary added: “Staff wanted to buy some pieces, they thought they were brilliant. Johanna is now painting some bygone pieces for our older peoples wards.”

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