Mental Health

The following POST is about how I became a MENTAL HEALTH trainer for the WEA

7th December 2013


Running down the rabbit hole…

18th August 2013

Another article for Derbyshire Voice, o my ears and whiskers when will I have time to fit that it, well I guess tempus fugit and a deadline looms, so need to exercise a little carpe diem, stop procrastinating with CANDY CRUSH and FACEBOOK status updates, maybe I need to update FACEBOOK right now to say I’m writing an article about Mad Pride for Derbyshire Voice, o my, o my, such confusion !

So, let’s put fingers to keyboard and see if anything meaningful or more importantly understandable emerges, copyright belonging to me and Derbyshire Voice and I’ll probably make one or two simple silly grammatical errors, but it’s not the perfection of the oration that’s required, but to elicit the spectacle that was the personal journey of MAD PRIDE DERBYSHIRE 2013, so let’s cut the waffle and the mumblings and open the curtains on INFOSTOCKSY’s take on the events.

I’m not bothering with draft’s and reviews and all that malarkey, this is a one shot sit down with a cuppa and it’s done thing.

So Mad Pride 2013, it all started for me a long time ago, probably before Cat Ingram even had the inception of the idea, maybe ! so in a bolt of mania, I decided to run the Helen’s Trust 10K at Chatsworth in aid of Bipolar UK Chesterfield – It was only the second ever major charity fund raiser I have done in the UK, did a few in the USA back in the day and my first in the UK was for Sport’s Relief, the money from that going to Lenny Henry and the crew and distributed throughout Africa and the UK, but I wanted to raise some fund’s for Bipolar UK Chesterfield, as I am one of the facilitators for the group and it seemed like a cool thing to do, as you can see from the Just Giving web page, I raised just shy of £300 from friends and family, personally, it cost me £18 to enter, at least one months gym membership at £15 per month and a lot of slog of VERY boring treadmill and general gym work to get to some kind of level of fitness.  I even got mentioned on the national BIPOLAR UK web-page

The Chatsworth 10K is 5K uphill slog followed by 5K downhill slog, anyway, I turned up at Chatsworth early in the morning and did my best, here’s my Just Giving status update from the event – “Well that’s that then – 47th from last – 394th out of 441 – time 1:11:53 – 1st 34:39 Last – 441st 1:44:17 – Damned HARD WORK !”

So what has all this running malarkey and the Chesterfield Bipolar support group got to do with Mad Pride, well after having worked so hard and bent so many arms to raise some cash for charity, I was determined that it should be used to great effect and not just spent on tea’s, coffee’s and biscuits for our monthly meeting (yes Bipolar UK Chesterfield member’s surprisingly these things have to be paid for somehow – hugs !), so I’m noodling away one evening, as you do as a night owl and Cat Ingram pops up on FACEBOOK and we chat about Mad Pride (again – LOL) and she says why don’t you put a bus on for the Chesterfield Bipolar Group to the Mad Pride Tea Party and Ball and there it is, the epiphany, well not quite, but you get the idea ! we could spend some of the Chatsworth 10K fund-raising on taking a group to the Mad Pride Tea Party and Ball, I had been wanting to do a social event for the group where we went off in a bus for ages, then, up pops Simon, another one of the facilitators for the Chesterfield Bipolar UK support group (AKA Mr Laughter Lines) and says I can help share your load and help make some of this happen, so Simon booked the mini bus and our treasurer Al OKed us spending the cash, all we had to do now was get people on the bus, we managed to get just shy of a dozen people on the bus and arrived at The Spot in Derby just in time for the Mad Hater’s Tea party, the rest of the comings and goings that evening you’ll read about in the rest of the stories published herein !

At the end of the evening we all got on the mini bus back to Chez Vegas, all very giddy kippers from such an incredible night out, and before reaching the boundaries of Derby city, I was being asked by everyone on the bus “So Steve when are you putting your running shoes again, cause we want another social night out”. There are already many social event’s being planned for Bipolar UK Chesterfield and we can’t wait to be back on the mini bus and on our way to Mad Pride 2014.



Planning for failure


Those with wings shouldn't be grounded - Infostocksy - August 2013

Firstly the title, it’s courtesy of a great person I had the privilege of working with (thanks Randy), basically if you’re trying to get from an AS IS scenario to a TO BE scenario, as all good planners do, if you plan for ALL the things that can possibly stop you, your journey will be less painful and stressful.

Anyway, I digress, as I do so well !

I was formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder / manic depression in 2006 after being sectioned under the 1983 mental health act. I VERY STRONGLY – DO NOT recommend the later, it’s not conducive to anyone’s health and is taken as a measure of last resort to protect the individual.

Over the last 7 years, I have developed much insight and knowledge into the control and management of my condition, one caveat being that a person’s physiology and psychology are as unique as a finger print, what works well for one person could be completely detrimental to someone else !

Somethings I hold very dear and are great tools for managing my condition are my care plan and my advanced directive.

I would like to state for the record, I am not an expert on either care plans or advanced directives, but have promised ( to write an article about my experiences in this area for a while now – is your friend and has some incredible information on both of these documents and their creation. This article is purely from the heart and is being created to try to help others, but it’s not the law or the final message in this area, change is inevitable and resistance is futile !

Care plans

If you see a health care professional regularly and you don’t have a care plan, tell them you want to create one together and you want a hard copy, so you can share it with those that need to know. A care plan is something your professional creates with your support and is utilised if you are not well enough or do not have capacity to freely and openly express your opinions with respect to your care.

My care plan covers the following areas :-

  • Recent progress
  • Medication
  • Physical health
  • Finances
  • Daytime activities
  • Family issues
  • Ongoing support
  • Relapse signature
  • Crisis planning

Examples of things I have in my care plan :-

  • Names and contact details of people who have or can help
  • Physical characteristics e.g. current weight
  • Desires e.g.  return to employment
  • Disorder episode triggers

Advanced Directives

This document you create yourself and share with your professional.

My advanced directive  is based on the following excellent document :-

sections in this document are :-

  • Introduction
  • Wishes regarding medication and treatment
  • What’s worked well in the past
  • Things that have not worked well in the past
  • Needs that are special to me, which I would like those caring for me to know about

Your advanced directive is a legal document and has to signed by someone that has no financial interest in you, for it to be effective – anyone could write it on behalf of a vulnerable adult, promising them all your worldly possessions !

Examples of things I have in my advanced directive :-

  • Names and contact details of people who have or can help
  • Personal medication recommendations, including non prescription things like good diet and good hydration
  • Exercise
  • Availability of an advocate
  • A known place of safety
  • Over assertive behaviour towards myself, will be met with an unhealthy response and is not conducive to my recovery curve
  • Relaxing and calming activities
  • Reduction in mental stimulation

Both documents should be reviewed and tweaked, where required, on a yearly(ish) basis. Both of mine are out of date and need updating, but what I currently have is better than having nothing at all !

As stated above, I am not an expert on this subject and there is an incredible amount of information out there in the public domain.

If you challenge your health care professional and they don’t help you with your care plan and your advanced directive, immediately ask for support from a different professional, these documents are a way of YOU controlling YOUR situation when things are out of your hands !

Mahoosive hugs to Hilary for making the above possible and showing me how powerful advanced directives are !

All rights for the above belong to INFOSTOCKSY – I’m happy for you to share the above, so long as it isn’t changed, without my permission and I am credited for its creation.

Namaste, ubuntu and keep the faith !


Here’s my previous post on supporting Bi-Polar and a couple of poems by a member of the Chesterfield Bipolar UK Support Group

First entry on this page goes to :-


2 Responses to “Mental Health”

  1. wjd Says:

    Wow, great to know advice here, Thanks.
    I find myself supporting women with mental health a lot because of the nature of my work. This stuff about Care Planning is really useful to help women struggling gain back some of the control in their life.
    I can’t say I fully understand what the Advanced Directive’s is yet I will have to look into it further, perhaps read what you said again… ok read it again. So it’s another document to help people understand your individual needs, but why is it a legal document?
    I will look it up.
    Thank you for the link very interesting and great for my Survivors site, I’ve not managed to publish it yet as I’m having trouble accessing my email account and I do all my admin through it, but I will sort it soon.
    I look forward to more good to know stuff from you in the Future.

    All the best

    Survivors Unite x

  2. Gather yea rosebuds while yea may…. | Infostocksy's Blog Says:

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