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The Journey of Environmental Health CIC

I’m Extremely proud to be launching the new logo for EnvironMentalHealth CIC. For me, this is the culmination of a 30 year battle with my own mental health. At the heart of our Social Enterprise is the lived experience of everyone involved, including my own.

We all have mental health, most of us just don’t know it, or if we do, we struggle to understand it…. I did for the first 40 years of my life. 23 years ago, after many years of sustained trauma and significant traumatic bereavement and loss, and being far too resilient for far too long, my 12 year old daughter had to lift me out of the bath, wrap me in a quilt and call my friend, as I’d totally shutdown, mentally and physically, I was unable to move or speak – in itself another traumatic experience for myself but, most importantly, my children and close friends.

My body, mind and soul had had enough….. this was also the first step to my “recovery” from mental ill health.

A period of 15 years ensued, whilst I was diagnosed again and again with anxiety and depression.
An excruciating and relentless cycle of “recovery” and relapse, until I received a diagnosis of complex PTSD. This small piece of my overly complex jigsaw, seemed to finalise a truly clear picture, and enhanced my understanding and therefore my ability to manage my condition.

I’m loathe to use the word “recovery”, as truth be told, in my humble opinion, we don’t ever truly
recover, we do however, learn as best we can to manage our own challenges, hopefully with the
help, support, patience and love of family and friends.
I also feel extremely uncomfortable, if I’m honest, when using the word “Resilience”. Telling
someone with long term and enduring mental health challenges that they need to “build their
resilience” is, for me, an insult.

From my own personal experiences, and those experiences of the many people I have supported in a
professional capacity, being resilient for far too long, absorbing trauma, loss and damage, and being
silent about it, is what resulted in us having the mental health challenges we manage. An added
layer for people from my generation, was never being educated to understand that I had Mental
Health, let alone that it needed looking after.

The biggest step I took was to understand I had Mental Health that had to be looked after and I
achieved this through CBT training and also Mental Health First Aid Training and various other
professional and personal development opportunities.

These things empowered me to take control of my own mental health and to equip me with
knowledge, skills and experience to support others. Therefore, First Aid for Mental Health and Living
Life to The Full are at the core of our Social Enterprise.

we work with funders to help fighting mental health in our community in Scotland

The additional lived experience I bring to my role as Founding Director is my experiences as an employee and employer in relation to mental health and well being. I have been the following within the workplace:

  • Employee supporting a colleague
  • Employee being supported by a colleague
  • Manager supporting an employee and balancing their needs with the needs of the business
  • Employee being supported by a manager due to my mental health challenges, as my Manager tried to consider the needs of both employee and organisation

I have had the opportunity to experience the challenges faced when supporting various people within a workplace setting. We believe in creating courses that brings all the above roles together to gain greater understanding and insight to all involved. We have experienced a real impact on the reduction in stigma when both management and employees attend the courses together.

We believe in these courses; we have tangible proof of the potential impact these tools have on
those suffering mental health conditions and challenges. These tools and courses, combined with the love and support of my children, some special friends and a sprinkle of great colleagues all brought me to where I currently am in life.

The tangible proof we have is me!

To celebrate the launch of our new logo we are offering a free online 2hr Introduction to First AidFor Mental Health workshop on the 6 th October 10am – 12noon. We have 12 spaces, please contact
us at [email protected] to book your space or for further information.

We were grateful to receive funding and support from the Social Entrepreneurs Fund delivered by
Firstport, for the design of our logo and also the design and building our own new website which
shall be launched very soon!

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