This month I would like to share with you about Wellness Tools and about a friend and colleague, Pete Scotcher, who is inviting you to a celebration that includes a sharing of wellness tools.
The first step for someone in developing their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) is to develop a Wellness Toolbox. This is a list of things you have done in the past, or could do, to help you stay well. These are things that you could do to help yourself feel better. I explained in a previous article how having a WRAP plan for the past 12 years has enabled me to work, care for my family, be resilient and enjoy life.
To give you an idea of what wellness tools can be, here are some examples of some of mine: dancing; yoga; journaling; being by the sea; being with my granddaughters; spending time with friends; meditating; reading; work; doing the 5 Rites; oil pulling; listening to the radio; cloud watching; buying flowers; wearing hand cream; having an early night; playing games; watching hot air balloons; going to the cinema; having unplanned time; learning new things; hearing the wood pigeon, etc.
I am currently working with Barnardos to deliver a WRAP course to some children aged between 8 years and 13 years and they have created ‘Happy Boxes’. They are like shoe boxes that they decorate with words and pictures that they like and they put things into the boxes that they like. For example music, photographs, chocolate, CD’s, comics or magazines, nail varnish, shells, books, a diary lots of things that they can look at that will help them to feel better.
I have worked with Pete delivering WRAP courses and training for the past 5 years. Here is his story…
Hi, I’m Pete Scotcher. In 2013 I decided to leave my post as an occupational therapist in the NHS, and focus on providing peer support groups. The last three years have been full of learning, as I move from being an employee to being self-employed. There have been many heart-warming moments as groups of people work together to learn and grow. You are invited to Brium’s 3rd Birthday Party, a celebration of wellness tools and peer support. Here are some thoughts from my experiences in groups, with an explanation of what peer support can be.
What is a peer?
In peer support groups, people are seen as experts in their own lives. The facilitator does not give advice. As a facilitator I mention my own struggles and solutions. Each member has an equal opportunity to talk from personal experience. People learn from hearing each other. This approach allows space for all group members to take responsibility for decisions about health and wellbeing.
What is support?
Support comes from the course structure, facilitators, and group members. Brium uses a researched method called the Wellness Recovery Action Plan®, which was developed by people with experiences of illness and distress. The structured plan provides a way to organise skills and resources for being well. Skilled facilitators guide a group discussion so that members are heard. The conversations keep moving and have a hopeful feel. The greatest support comes from group members, as people share ideas and stories. By the end of a course, each member comes away with an experience of being supported and supporting others.
Peers and support together
The combination of peers and support is a powerful mix. I have seen people go from being very quiet and reserved to laughing out loud during the tea break. Members have set up ongoing groups, so that people can continue to benefit from regular group meetings. This method has a central place in health services and organisations. Peer support networks increase people’s access to personal power. This leads to better parenting, skilled studying, working more effectively, and less time off due to illness. Any organisation that adopts peer support will see success in any goals they aim to achieve.