Leanne Griffin is a Young Happy Minds Ambassador and has also assisted on the programmes that we deliver in schools. She is passionate about fixing the broken mental health system in this country and today she got the opportunity to participate in a roundtable at Parliament with the Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Luciana Berger. Here’s Leanne’s report on her day which we wanted to share during Mental Health Awareness Week:
“Never in my wildest of dreams would I have imagined this time three years ago that I would have just spent the afternoon in Parliament with Luciana Berger - the Shadow Minister for Mental Health. When I wrote to Luciana I never expected a reply, due to the sheer amount of work she has and her position within Parliament, so when I received an invitation to a round table event I was over the moon.
I wrote to Luicana because I feel disgusted at the state of the mental health system within the UK and felt that maybe with me sharing my story and using my experiences I could make a difference. The referral process, the lack of education and insight into mental illness that even professionals have, the stigma and lack of awareness raised, the lack of resources on hospital units and wards and the near non-existent prevention plans put in place for individuals to access care and support, I find appalling.
At the round table event with Luciana and a few other individuals, who had also been invited having experienced the failings of the mental health system within the UK, Luciana explained more about her work, the honor in which she felt to be made Shadow Minister for mental health and how important it was to her to meet with service users, current or former, carers, family and other professionals in order to gain valuable knowledge of people's experiences of the system, both inside hospitals and outside in the community.
Luciana was a very approachable, genuine, caring and trusting individual who I feel is genuine in her passion to hold government accountable for the crisis in which the mental health system is in within the UK and do all that she can to make a difference to the lives of so many.
Just as Luciana's journey continues in making the step to create a better system, my journey also continues. Today has been amazing - an unforgettable experience, which has left me mostly feeling worthy and hopeful; not something I have often felt throughout my years. My voice and my story has been heard and it's a great first step in my path to not only making a difference to the system but into inspiring others never to give up.”
We are so proud of Leanne for her passion and perseverance. She is being the change that she wants to see in the world. We’ll hear more from Leanne and her quest to fix the mental health system in the coming months. If you’ like to share your story, please get in touch with us firstname.lastname@example.org