WMHD 2021 – Interview with Elle-Michele Reynolds-Cole on working with Rochdale Advocacy Together Hub

World Mental Health Day 2021 is on Sunday the 10th of October and the theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’. This theme is something we wanted to explore with the people that use our services by sharing their lived experiences of mental distress and inequalities or discrimination they have faced.

For this interview we heard from Elle-Michele Reynolds-Cole who uses our Rochdale Advocacy Together Hub service. Michelle spoke to Tracy Moss who is Operations and Development Manager at Together sharing her own lived experience and how the advocacy team helped her to access the right mental health support that was suitable for her.

In this first film, Michele describes her own experience of mental distress and diagnoses she has received as well as living with epilepsy which causes her to have seizures and which adds to stress and anxiety she feels. She explains how having this combination of support needs made it difficult for her to get the support she required having been referred to different places by local authority teams and how working with the advocacy team helped:

In this second clip Michelle explains the process of making a complaint about the support that was available from her local mental health team and how Care Act Advocacy helped with that. She also details how she passes what she learns on to others in the community and how the changes she would like to see made are for her but also for other people who may not fit into the categories set out in social care applications:

In this final film Michelle and Tracy discuss how they have worked together with other agencies including Healthwatch who referred Michelle to Rochdale Advocacy Together Hub. They also discuss the importance of standing up for the rights around care people have access to and the need for people to come together to protect those:

Thank you to Michelle for sharing her lived experience and to Tracy for taking part in the interview.