Last month we completed the training day ‘A Fresh Approach to Mental Health’ for Change for Good, a mentoring and befriending project for men leaving Wandsworth Prison.
6 users of the service and 7 volunteers attended and we enjoyed lively discussions, with participants remarking they learnt a lot of new information. Men who had been detained in HMP Wandsworth had the chance to share experiences of adversity and have these validated through a framework that accepts non-biomedical understandings of mental health difficulties.
One man fed back that the most helpful part of the day was ‘engaging in one’s truth’. At the end of the training day, people commented that the take-home message is that truly empathetic listening is vital for supporting people in distress.