A peer event was held at our Marsh Hill mental health service for customers and staff to talk through their experiences of mental health.

The event, held on 10 May, was organised by our peer workers Melanie Whiltechurch and Dean Lukeman, along with eight staff members, and aimed at bringing customers together to talk about mental health and the theme of moving from ‘Survive to Thrive’.

Too many people are just about managing their mental health and the scale and cost of being stuck simply surviving is great. This event was all about sharing experiences and practical steps that can help people move from surviving to thriving.

There was a great turn out, with 24 customers and staff attending from all the mental health services in Hackney.  The event kicked off with everyone preparing food and drinks in the courtyard of Marsh Hill followed by a customer from the scheme giving a presentation about his journey and how he was now thriving. Then Dean, a peer worker at the scheme, talked about his experience of recovery.

Talks were followed by basketball, games and music, and then customers had a chance to put notices on a board about their thoughts on surviving or thriving.

David*, a customer from Marsh Hill really enjoyed the event:

Mental health activities can create good friendships with common interest and also healthy living – really good day.

Gunter Gosain, team leader for the service, was overwhelmed by the reaction from the customers:

I was really impressed by everyone’s positive outlook and how we all interacted with each other; we were playing board games, eating and having a good time. It was a really lovely day with good company and a chance to talk about everyone’s mental health and the possibility of recovery – moving from simply surviving to thriving.

For more information on Mental Health Awareness week, take a look at the Mental Health Foundation’s website.

*Not his real name.