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Chief Executive Officer

I’ve used mental health services for over 25 years, experiencing the full range of services from GPs to stays in secure units as a sectioned patient. At times I could live a ‘successful’, ‘normal’ life in full employment and be a functioning individual, at face value successful.

On other occasions I could be completely incapacitated by my illness to the extent I couldn’t move or talk. At my most damaging I could also be so psychotically manic that many things in my life were utterly destroyed. I experienced a huge range of medications and therapies that were deemed to be helpful by statutory providers. It is clear to me now that some of these were helpful, although I didn’t feel that at the time, whilst I will always question other aspects of my treatment at the hands of the psychiatric system.

It was when sectioned for 5 months in 2005 that I discovered the power of engaging with my fellow patients. It taught me how meaningful discussions with my peers could be. These relationships helped me get well and have given me the insight to stay well. I credit my peers as a force for good that cannot be underestimated. This is not a trendy concept or fad but an essential part of my daily life and a source of great strength. I have been working at this organisation since 2007.


It has been 100% user led for several years now and has developed organically using the skills and expertise of the amazing people who work here. All have benefited from the help of their peers and want to share this on a more professionalised footing. We now have a broad range of services which are innovative and sophisticated and totally designed, developed and delivered by ‘us’.​


When discussing peer support in a wider health context I am often rather condescendingly told ‘well, that isn’t the answer’. My reply is always that’s right. There is no one answer to any serious health condition but peer support is definitely an important part of the solution to living well. It should be promoted and used far more widely than it currently is and over the years people will make this happen. I am very proud to be associated with this organisation.

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