Fran has recently joined Mental Health Concern as a facilitator for Kind Mind Community, the recovery college in South Tyneside, where she helps to co-produce and deliver activities, support students, promote the college and many other duties.
In 2018, Fran experienced a mental health crisis but has since begun her journey towards recovery. Fran has found support along the way through services such as the ARCH recovery college in Durham.
Fran loves learning and, although she was initially nervous, absolutely loved taking courses at the recovery college. Out of the many courses she studied, Fran’s favorite course was ‘Positive Psychology’ which delves into the science of happiness. This course is also delivered at Kind Mind Community.
Through her time at a recovery college, Fran was able to gain volunteering experience which boosted her self-confidence. So much so, that after three years away from employment, Fran felt confident enough to take steps towards returning to work.
When she saw the job description for her current role at Mental Health Concern, Fran thought ‘If I could have written a job description for me, this would be it!’.
Fran believes that her insight and lived experience is hugely helpful in her role, because it is important to be able to truly relate to the people she supports. To be able to tell the people she supports that she understands how they’re feeling, because she went through similar experiences herself is invaluable.
Fran explained that knowing that her experiences of mental ill-health are being used to help others in the future ‘makes the dark days worth it’.