Voices Forum front page //// Views on Severe Mental Illness / Recovery //// site index

Self-management & the Importance of Community by Sophie

Self-management is definitely something developed and practised by users - perhaps because there is no alternative, as services and resources may not only be poor but also in some cases disabling.

Personally, I don't think anyone should "self manage", but instead we should all manage ourselves and our affairs together as a community. No one should be left to "self manage" on their own.

In my experience, if you do self manage and are successful, services and staff often withdraw their support, believing perhaps that if you are able to manage yourself, good for you, there are so many others more deserving of help, perhaps people who are not engaging with services.

Although it might be true, this approach fails to understand the fact that community exists. For example, when one person does well, if they are shown to be encouraged and supported, this may have a knock on effect to others who witness this taking place.

There should be no pecking order anyway. Everyone should be given time and resources whatever stage they are at. The thing that always worries me is the "discharge" part of the treatment we may or may not be getting.

I feel that I am lucky to be receiving services (of a kind) because I know of people who suffer terribly with their mental health and have never received any attempts to help.

I'd say the more people you know, the better it is for you, rather than suffer alone. Throw the net out wide and engage with lots of different people, the chances are that some, maybe all, will be of help to you in some way.

No one person is an island, we are all in it together. Mutual support and equality are the best healers, and everyone should have access to help at all times.