As with all areas of Changing Our Lives’ work, our mental health offer is underpinned by an Ordinary Life approach. More specifically, our mental health approach is guided by the recovery model. The recovery model doesn’t assume that all people with mental health difficulties will ‘recover’, but that all people should have the opportunities and support they need to rebuild after times of crisis, reach goals that are important to them and develop coping strategies for future challenges.
Our mental health, like our physical health, is a normal part of everyone’s life. Just like everyone has times of poor physical health, anyone can experience mental health difficulties. Throughout our lives we will all deal with difficult experiences. Emotions such as grief, worry or stress are completely normal responses that don’t necessarily require a ‘label’ or ‘treatment’. Although medical treatment is one tool available to us, Changing Our Lives believe that challenging social inequalities, promoting wellbeing and equipping communities to talk about mental health are key to keeping people mentally healthy and enabling them to cope when they do experience mental health difficulty.
What we do
There are a range of social, personal and environmental factors in our lives that affect how we experience and cope with mental health difficulty. These are sometimes called ‘social determinants of health’. Our work in Changing Our Lives deals with the social determinants of mental health. We see secure housing, access to education, good leisure provision, plenty of green space, friends and family, community connection and supportive employers as all playing a role in supporting good mental health.
What we don’t do
We don’t position ourselves as mental health ‘experts’, so we don’t deliver mental health first aid or mental health training. We don’t work within the medical model of mental health, so we do not use diagnostic labelling in our work.
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A strategic body led by MPs with recent lived experience of mental health difficulties
Talking mental health in barbershops