Hello urbanites, allow me to introduce myself, I am Janette Ward mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, aunt and friend. I love yoga, dancing, walking in nature, being by the sea, personal development and being with people.
I have a background of 30+ years in social care – as a nurse, social worker, advocate, tutor and managing a health and wellbeing project. I founded Circles Work Community Interest Company (which is a ‘not for profit’ company) to deliver innovative and creative courses, groups, training and one to one coaching to support adults and children to attain and sustain good mental health.
My interest in mental health initially came from my own struggles with depression, which I first experienced in 1997. I was working as a social worker in a general hospital. I was a single parent, a people pleaser, with perfectionist tendencies available to everyone else but not giving to myself. All I knew about mental health at that time was the stigma which manifested itself as shame for me. Whilst I was depressed, I was unable to work, I received some very helpful counselling from my GP practice and was prescribed medication.
As I began to feel better I started to explore what had happened and, more importantly why it had happened. I read lots of self-help books and was reading about the importance of loving myself and I remember thinking ‘love myself? – I don’t even like myself!’ That realisation was a turning point for me. I then committed to learning more about ‘me’ and developing a good healthy relationship with myself. I will be with myself 24/7 until the day I die, so that relationship is the most important relationship I will ever have. I had actually got to the age of 34 without really giving it much thought.
Following the depression I did make some changes, I continued to work as a social worker in a different environment, I was more mindful about relationships with negative people and I started to say no and consider my needs some of the time.
However these changes weren’t sufficient and for the next seven years, I experienced depression and low mood on and off until 2004 when a colleague gave me a little WRAP® (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) booklet. I knew that it would be significant for me, even just reading it gave me hope. I did some research into WRAP® and created my own plan and since then I have coped better with life’s challenges and I am more resilient. I have not experienced depression since 2004 and I believe that is entirely due to following my WRAP® plan every day.
I started work at Mind in Bradford in 2008 to create a Health and Wellbeing Project and had the opportunity to offer WRAP® courses. In my six years at Mind we facilitated over 30 twelve week WRAP® courses with enormous success and trained WRAP participants to become Accredited WRAP® Facilitators.
I hope that you will join me next month when I share my WRAP® plan with you.
Further information about WRAP can be found at www.mentalhealthrecovery.com
More information about me and Circles Work CIC can be found at www.circleswork.co.uk