Lived Experience Newsletter June 2022
Mind started its lived experience newsletter in May 2021 to connect with former Time to Change Champions who had campaigned against stigma and prejudice around mental health problems.
They continue to highlight independent lived experience voices campaigning on mental health issues and publicise opportunities where people with lived experience can shape Mind’s and other external partners work.
TRIGGER WARNING: References to the death of a loved one.
This month’s newsletter tells the story of Rianna, who shares her personal experience of dealing with the loss of her grandmother during university. She writes:
“I lost my grandmother during my second year of university. My grandmother was like a second mom to me, she helped raise me. I’ve known her all my life and I didn’t know how to cope when I lost her. My fondest memories were with her, going to Creole parades, trips to the beach and even abroad, summer vacations in St. Maarten and New York. She was such a strong and kind hearted lady, death was the furthest thing from my mind.
She passed away on the first day of exams. I only managed to do one exam and then I flew back to Dominica that same week to be with my mum and help plan the funeral. I had to submit a concession for that term, which meant I pursued exams at a later date. During the summer, I passed my exams and proceeded to my final year.
To anyone experiencing loss during university, I would be honest about the impact it has on you, the people around you and your studies. Understanding the stages of grief is also useful, although it can vary from some person to person it helped me to not be disappointed in myself for feeling the way I feel. I shared my experience with my close friends, who were quite supportive. Speak to your lecturers to ensure there are provisions that can be made so you can still have the best outcome possible during this time. I completed a concession to pursue exams at a later date, this allowed me to focus on other pressing personal matters during that time.
Seeking support for your mental health is even more critical during this period. I’m really glad that I went to therapy as it allowed me to reshape my thinking about the situation, which improved my mood and well-being. These days I feel like I am more in tune with my mental health, knowing when I am having a good mental health day or bad mental health and what to do in these scenarios has been critical. “
You can read more Lived Experience stories on Mind’s website
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Author: Stewart Gillespie
Posted on: 23rd June 2022