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Testimonials from service users

“There is a need for BIG as there is no other organisation offering peer support and discussions about ongoing mental health issues on a regular basis. I gain excellent input from qualified local mental health staff and the feeling that as a service user i am not alone or ignored during my long period of recovery. It also increases my knowledge on all mental health issues and keeps me motivated.”

“BIG meetings stop me from being isolated and help me to mix with people who understand my condition. I gain information about my illness and I find the meetings very therapeutic.”

“There is a need for BIG groups to help service users with mental health issues personal to themselves. I get self satisfaction from the group and find out about other places where I can get support.”

“BIG meetings give me something to do in the evening, to meet other people so I am not alone and to I learn from other service users how to cope with my mental health. I also gain a lot from the Consultant Psychiatrists and I have made friends at the groups.”

“The BIG groups are helpful, educational and supportive and I can learn from others. The need for BIG is essential and long overdue! Generally, we discuss topics and issues relating to positive well being and health maintenance. I get a lot from attending the groups, help, advice tips and laughter. It’s somewhere to go and is local in Bury.”

“I feel the BIG meetings are really useful. They give me an insight into my mental health problems. They also educate service users on their own issues. I get a chance to express my views on mental health services. It also guides me as to which organisations to contact in order to help me as an individual. The psychiatrists who come along are really helpful and teach me different things and how daily life affects those with illness. I feel valued as i feel my voice is being heard. I have made several friends all of which i can relate to in some way.”

“There is definitely a need for these groups as there are a lot of people suffering with many different mental health conditions. Support is very important in recovery. I feel mental illness can be very isolating and lots of people live alone so groups allow companionship. The groups remind me that i am not alone and  I can share what I am going through with people who understand.”

BIG provides me with a voice that is listened to and I get a strength from those who attend. For me it is a network to make friends. I stress to people to come and experience it for yourselves.”

“I have learnt about my medication from the talks given by the psychiatrists. I find this useful as sometimes i get worried about taking antidepressants. BIG also helps to remove the stigma of mental health and create awareness.”

Comments from people who attend the groups at BIG

“when I came out of hospital I had no other support”

“gives me light at the end of the tunnel”

“it’s a supportive atmosphere where I can make friends”

“it’s good to feel I am no longer alone”

“it’s helpful to hear professionals, the topics are good and informative”

“prevents me from becoming unwell”

“I gain knowledge and learn coping strategies”

“I feel people care and I am in a safe environment”

“I have less crisis since coming to BIG and prevents me from going to my GP”

“I need less treatment I only see my psychiatrist every 6 months instead of 3 months”

“talking to strangers is easier as I can’t talk to my family as they think I am making it up”

“I don’t want to burden my family with issues”

“hearing other peoples problems takes my mind off my own”

“I wish I had known about BIG sooner”

“it’s comforting to know the groups are ongoing and there is no commitment”

“it’s good how I don’t need a referral, I can just turn up”

“we bounce ideas off each other and share examples of how we solve problems”

“it’s good to know we  all have issues, the psychiatrists as well as service users”

“I find it easy to talk in the groups, it’s not judgmental”

“it gives me a boost after I’ve been to BIG”

“I always feel better after attending the groups”

“it’s good to hear success stories, it gives me hope”

“empowering patients to help themselves”

“it’s somewhere to go when waiting to access services”

“I feel I am being heard and have a voice”

“it’s a lifeline to me”