This year’s theme is ‘Dignity in Mental Health’ with the aim being ‘to show the ways in which dignity can be provided in all aspects of mental health, ranging from care for patients/consumers to the attitudes of the general public’.
We have asked Members here at Designs in Mind…
.What does “Dignity in Mental Health” mean to you?
‘Being treated as an equal. Being listened to and people (including health practitioners and the general public) believing/ understanding what I say or the situation’
‘Not being a victim to the system of mental health services’
‘Sympathetic listeners with caring eyes- who don’t look down on you but help you onwards and upwards’
‘To stop the stigma attached to mental illness and offering sympathetic ear to someone if they are going through a difficult phase in their lives.’
‘Being treated by people and services as a person and an individual, not a diagnosis or a patient’
‘Accepting yourself, what is wrong and then telling others. Let others know you get support’
‘To be understood’
‘To be treated with compassion as a person, especially by healthcare professionals and assistants when in hospital as well as out.’
‘To be treated normally- with respect and to be treated how you would like to be treated’
Designs in Mind is a natural community resource, a safe environment, with familiar people, fostering choice and enabling people to work with purpose, to take control of their lives and move forward.
The criteria for referral is the individuals should be in touch with mental health services and have an interest in art and in making, not a developed skill.
New referrals come to the group on Wednesdays where they are taught all the skills they will need to fully participate. As well as arrange of craft and design skills, from fused glass to textiles to screen printing, we encourage individuals right from the start to participate in decision making and in product and business development.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays we focus on commissions and the making and development of products.
Not everyone always has the confidence to make decisions and work independently. We break tasks down – so on a bad day when making decisions seems impossible members can help with backup tasks. When confidence is there, there is the opportunity to lead a project, design your own product, lead a workshop, develop a commission. We need to offer challenges which suit individuals and move people forward at their own pace. This is our success , we encourage aspiration but equally we support those going through crisis , with low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
.Members consistently tell us they fear they would not be alive if they had not had the opportunities through Designs in Mind. This service supports people through setbacks and prevents many from relapse.
There are so many stories, case studies of what impact this place has on people’s lives, but here is one from a Member who left last year.
At the time of my referral I didn’t think I would ever be able to work again, I had little or no confidence in my abilities and really saw a bleak future. Coming here has given me the confidence to believe in myself and that I do have something valuable to contribute to society. The arts allow me to express myself and I have learnt valuable skills through participating and volunteering in workshops. Their belief in me has enabled me to secure employment and look after myself. Designs in Mind normalises Mental Health issues, takes away the stigma, so we can be ourselves. I can achieve my dreams and have a happy and productive life.
That is what this place does, change minds and change lives.
You can read more about World Mental Health Day here…