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Recovery Group

BIG in RECOVERY  is for adults who consider themselves to have a mental health condition.

We meet every Tuesday evening at 6.15pm  at the Bury United Reformed Church, Parsons Lane, Bury.

Consultant Psychiatrists from Fairfield General Hospital attend to discuss mental health topics and provide their support.

We provide a welcoming, safe environment where we enjoy sharing our experiences, supporting one another and providing a successful journey of recovery.

At BIG you have the opportunity to meet new people and make friends, gaining peer support  and providing support to others.

The group enables you to learn about mental health, improving your knowledge and understanding.

6.15pm at Bury United Reformed Church, Parsons Lane, Bury.

Topics 2019!!!


9th July Making Sense of my experience Elisabeth Svanholmer
16th July Chronic pain management Dr. Karin Bacha – Psychologist
23rd July Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Mary Delaney – Psychologist
30th July Due to a cancellation the topic has been changed…

Developing a mental health strategy based on your experiences of mental health services in Bury.

This work will have a direct effect on the strategy the council produce. If you want to have your say in how services should be developed just turn up.

Bury is presently developing a mental health strategy for the area. We believe for the strategy to be of any use, it needs to be designed by people who have experience of using mental health services in the area.

We’ll be running an activity on the night, asking everyone who comes along to help us build a map of the services in the area, to identify the issues and what parts people value.

The outdated strategy can be found here:


6th August Training to emergency services on Mental Health; Carer Involvement in in-patient services; and In-patient information leaflets Mags O’Neil – Mental Health Quality Lead Bury
13th August Emotional Resilience Matt Coleclough – Mind Safe
20th August Open Support Group Everyone is welcome
27th August Self-Doubt Niell Watkins
3rd September My Personal Recovery Story Paul Johnson
10th September The Survivor Movement: Understanding Madness & the politics of illness Dr. Karin Bacha – Psychologist
17th September Confidence – Building Self-Confidence Niell Watkins
24th September
Share your Experience:
Do you struggle to secure a Dr’s Appointment?
Is there the right staff and the right number of staff available to provide the care?
Do you struggle to access Healthcare services?
Karen Hall & Linda Reilly
1st October Peer Mentoring Charlie Headley – Take Part Coordinator @ the Creative Living Centre
8th October Topic to Follow Mags O’Neil – Mental Health Quality Lead Bury
15th October Understanding problems Dr. Karin Bacha – Psychologist
22nd October Hearing voices and the accepting voices approach Elisabeth Svanholmer
29th October Let’s Talk Mental Health: How can we improve mental health services in Bury? Ivan Lewis – MP for Bury South
5th November Dreams are just dreams without goals Niell Watkins
12th November Mindfulness Matt Coleclough
19th November Recovery-orientated approaches Dr. Karin Bacha – Psychologist
26th November Topic to follow Dr. Nihal Fernando
3rd December First Aid Workshop:

A practical and fun session where you’ll pick up some techniques which will allow you to respond to people requiring first aid, which may help you save someone’s life.

British Red Cross
10th December Topic to follow Mags O’Neil – Mental Health Quality Lead Bury
17th December BIG Christmas Party Everyone is welcome!

Please note RECOVERY is held every Tuesday.

Statement from Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Sadiq
The Consultants at the Irwell Unit, Fairfield General Hospital, are delighted to be in a position to support and be supported by, service users through BIG. We meet with BIG on alternate Tuesdays for 2 hour sessions between 6-15pm and 8-15pm. These sessions are attended by Consultants and Service Users. We ourselves are there primarily to learn about, and from, the experiences of service users about their

illnesses and their experience of services. This dialogue allows us an invaluable insight to how we can improve the care service users receive and also to evaluate what we do. We are very fortunate to be in a profession that allows us help alleviate distress that is caused by mental illness, and must continually look to how we can best do this. We have enjoyed and benefited hugely from the sessions so far and want to work hard to increase the membership of organisations like BIG.
Dr Asad Sadiq

Statement from Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Fernando
As a department we feel it is important to hear the patient’s voice, their thoughts on their experience

and how we can work together to improve the service so at the points of need, it is flexible and more

I think the benefits of working with service users is to the service, (more responsive, timely and smoother interactions, with more knowledgeable staff) and to patients who will be more informed about their condition, the available options to them in different circumstances, as well as further service development. I do feel as a group BIG has a lot to offer mental health services in Bury. Thank you for inviting us to take part.responsive. This is critical in developing a system that is both humane and efficient and I strongly believe the two can go together. We also would like to teach, but most importantly, learn from yourselves because service user experience (in life, dealing with their condition and from using the services on offer) offers them insights that would be instructive and educational to all staff who work in providing a service.

Dr Nihal Fernando

Statement from Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Gupta
The health system is for the patients; this sounds common sense, but this is forgotten almost everyday when patients come to the health system. We have to learn to hear patients’ experiences within the health system and then act on them. Both stages are absolutely vital if we want our NHS to be world-class. BIG is a good opportunity to start doing this within mental health services and therefore I have decided to get involved with BIG.
By listening to our service users, we will be able to adapt our services to suit their needs better. This will be beneficial to all parties concerned patients, carers, health services, society.
Dr Gupta
Members of the Committee of BIG would like to sincerely thank the Consultant Psychiatrists from Fairfield Hospital who attend the BIG in Recovery group. We are especially grateful as the input they provide is on a voluntary basis in their own time. 
Church map

Comments from people attending BIG in Recovery

“helped me to meet other people who understand my worries and anxieties”

“has encouraged me to get out of the house and become more socially active”

“BIG in Recovery has enabled me to meet other people with similar issues to myself and has helped me gain more insight into other illnesses”

“reduce isolation and helped me to make friends”

” has given me focus in life and provided me with a safe haven”

“helped to reduce stigma in the wider community”

“provided useful information and signposted me to other relevant services”

“increased self-esteem and confidence”

“has given me one evening per week to look forward to”

“helped me to feel a valuable member of society”

“helped me to realize that I am not alone”

“being able to share my own experiences and listen to others within a caring and understanding environment”

“provides a stable and non-judgmental environment”

“helped me to stop feeling ashamed of myself and my diagnosis”

“encouraged me to discuss my mental health issues with others in the group”

“psychiatrists have helped me to learn more about my illness through their talks every fortnight and have given me the information needed to research the subject further, if relevant”

“played a major role both in reducing my isolation and my on-going recovery from anxiety and depression”

“provided me with somewhere I can interact socially which has helped in my recovery from social anxiety”

“given me a sense of purpose”

“helped me to stay well and out of hospital”

Bury Involvement Group (BIG) is a not-for-profit, voluntary organisation. We provide a vital source of support to people who suffer from mental distress.
Please note that we are not a substitute for professional support provided by health & social care professionals. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your healthcare provider.
The information contained in our website and in our other publicity is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by BIG and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.
Guest Speakers at our groups:
BIG neither endorses or recommends speakers and the views expressed by the guest speakers are not necessarily the views of BIG as an organisation.