Lisa talks about her lived experience of mental health

Hi Everyone

I am Lisa the new Blended Online CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) Practitioner for the HayGarth area. I am very happy and grateful to have joined such an amazing organisation with lots of exciting projects to help people with mental health issues.

I have previously studied Psychology and Psychological therapies. Most recently I have been volunteering as an Assistant Psychologist within North Monmouth Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). During my time with the CMHT I helped to run DBT and Mindfulness groups. My thesis during the Psychological Therapies masters was a systematic review of how smartphone applications can help people suffering with anxiety. The findings were that a Blended approach of online and some face to face support worked best so I am thrilled to have a role supporting clients as evidenced by my research.

When I’m not at work I enjoy spending time with family and friends, walking the dog, exercise classes and reading.

My lived experience of Mental Health

Around one in four people have mental health issues during their life time, including myself. I suffered with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) around six years ago which left me feeling unable to leave the house at times, avoiding social gatherings, and unable to sleep with worry. I feel it’s important to share this with you to help people understand that they are not alone, everyone is fallible, there’s no such thing as perfect and you can recover with the right help and support.

The right help and support for me was firstly some medication but then some CBT which allowed me to question the negative/worrying thoughts and eventually see that they weren’t as bad as I thought.

These days I protect my mental health by only following positive accounts on Facebook and Instagram that make me feel happy. These accounts are full of real people who do not filter their pictures and are not afraid to admit they are having a bad day. It’s also important for me to remember that Facebook and Instagram posts are usually not a true reflection of someone’s life but a snapshot of the best bits.

I also try to remember to talk to myself the way I would talk to my closest friends, in other words being kind to myself and that thoughts are not facts, so just because a thought pops into my head it does not mean it is true. Exercise has been a huge part in keeping me mentally healthy by helping me manage stress and anxiety. Exercise allows me to feel mentally and physically fit and also increases levels of happy hormones in the brain.

If anyone would like any more information on our Blended CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) please contact Brecon and District Mind on 01874 611529 or email info@breconmind.org.uk