Some fifteen years ago, I knew a man in my workplace who focused on advocacy for mental health service users. Besides working in supported housing, he was a very good flute player and a painter. However, he made a strict distinction between his work with service users and his being an artist. I felt his solution to be a bit strange and now it seems much stranger – art in all its manifestations being one of the best ways to promote mental health… for everyone!

Discuss with your friend or collegue:

What’s relation between work and leasure time?

What part does mental health plays in your everyday life?

Meaning of family, friends and human relationships:

  • Do you feel respected in your closest family relationships?
  • Are you recognized as the person you are and who would you like to be, that is, the person with your future aspirations and dreams?
  • Do you see your basic human relationships as being based on reciprocity, or more as a one-sided giving of wellbeing (you being ‘the giver’) or as receiving of wellbeing (you being ‘the recipient’)?
  • How would you describe to yourself your capacity to listen to others, and to listen to yourself?

These exercises are elaborations from our British colleagues: Expending Horizons for Mental Health.

The Labelling Exercise includes also an exercise of Active Listening. We suggest you to follow the order given here, first compiling The Labelling Exercise, including Active Listening and then outlining your Circle of Support.

Activity 1: The Labelling Excercise

Activity 2: Active Listening

Activity 3: Circle of Support >to the next page

The Labelling Excercise.pdf

Tew, Jerry; Ramon, Shula; Slade, Mike; Bird, Victoria; Melton, Jane & Le Boutillier, Clair: Social factors and recovery from mental health difficulties: a review of the evidence The British Journal of Social Work 2012-01-01, Vol.42 (3), pp. 443-460. https://academic.oup.com/bjsw/article-abstract/42/3/443/1665871?redirectedFrom=fulltext (obs! no free download) Although there is now increasing evidence as to the role played by social factors in contributing to the onset of mental health difficulties, there has been little systematic examination of the role that social factors can play in enabling (or impeding) recovery. This paper provides a review of the emerging international literature in this area, and is linked to a wider conceptual review undertaken as part of a major project researching recovery practice in the UK. Research findings are explored in detail in relation to three areas that had been identified by the wider review as central to recovery: empowerment and control over one’s life; connectedness (including both inter-personal relationships and social inclusion); and rebuilding positive identities (often within the context of stigma and discrimination). Out of this emerges a clearer picture of the importance of particular social factors, which starts to define a more broad-based and proactive agenda for mental health social work—with an emphasis not just on working with individuals, but also on engaging with families and communities.