MHAW2020: Poem on lived experience from Sophie Nettle

For Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 our theme is Lived Experience and we asked service users, volunteers and staff to share why that knowledge is important for them. The way that people choose to express that is up to them and through the week we’ll be sharing a interviews, videos and blogs or in this case poetry provided by Sophie Nettle who is a volunteer peer supporter at Together.

Peer support is a big part of the services we provide at Together and lived experience is key to that. We know from our services that peer support can be a huge help people to in providing mental health support. People who have experienced mental health issues themselves can offer informed insight and understanding, free from judgement and drawing on their own experiences to help others. The support they give can be an extremely effective complement to support given by mental health professionals, or a lifeline to those for whom traditional mental health support has not worked. Read more on peer support here.

Thank you to Sophie for submitting her poem on lived experience which is below:

I’ve been ill, so they gave me a pill,
A Pill? Many of them that didn’t work.
Eventually they and I found a solution,
that’s continued working to this day.
I was told I was a challenging patient,
So what? We’re all different.
It took a long time for the right people
to help me to find peace and contentment.
Being ill has brought a wisdom that I
previously lacked. It’s given me empathy
for others but most of all compassion for me.
Thank you to all the workers, paid and unpaid,
who escorted me along this part of my life.
Yes my illness was only a part
not the sum of my life.
Now I know that I can help others
to tackle the demon of depression.