I have served as a trustee for many mental health organisations in Leeds and would like to be a trustee again, because people found my contributions thoughtful and inspiring, as a volunteer too.
My low mood and concentration is not fossilised like it used to be. I consider my present low mood not a barrier to trusteeship but a strength, because Volition’s concerns seem to be about healthcare too.
I do not self stigmatise my mental distress, but am open about it and it dissolves more and more as time goes by. Further such openness to self health care, is reflected in my attitude towards others. There are barriers, prejudices oppressions in society, my practice is proven in inclusiveness, and involvement as a BME representative, for UKAN, Mindlink, LIP: where I was part of the MHUCRG for many years
I do have many diagnoses 27 physical and mental in all, but I view them no matter how painful or disabling at times as a tool of compassion, to help make the world a better place. Also, I really enjoyed being a trustee, and a strength told to me by others, was my ability to defuse faction fighting, or formulate a way forward in the best interests of all. I got a buzz out of trustee responsibilities.
My prime goal in life is about diversity, promotion, inclusion, equality as I have known race, disability, distress discriminations, but always worked to overcome this with organisations, such as UKAN, LIP, Advonet, Mindlink (the user network of mind which reviews its policies to make them user friendly),and diverse Minds
I have diverse experience of discrimination by race, culture, disability and distress, and am fully aware of the adverse impact of discrimination on people who deserve increased rights, and better implementation of them. I contend disabled including distressed people are still one of the most marginalised groups in society, with an unemployment rate of 60 percent, and healthcare and benefit systems that are biased against their needs and rights. This is tragic but not insurmountable.
My attitude is that nothing is insurmountable, by making allies, by hard work, by campaigning for inclusion, by promoting inclusion, and coproduction (and I have worked on all these latter, by being a trustee of 9 organisations over 30 years, and by equality training of trustees and user and carer groups in healthcare.)
I am a people person, and believe and promote human rights through advocacy, as such I was re-elected as Chair of United Kingdom Advocacy Network in 2001, thus serving for two years as chair. I began my work with UKAN as a BME co-optee to negotiate and inspire UKAN to include BME communities, which I was told I did whereas a previous BME co-optee did not do it so well. I believe commitment, both personally and socially, is freedom. UKAN is the foremost user-led and largest pressure group for better mental health care advocacy in the UK.
I would love to serve Volition as a trustee, serving everyone’s best interest and it aims.