Wellness Recovery Network reinforces message of #AlwaysHelp #AlwaysHope #AlwaysHere

28th September 2022
Wellness Recovery Network group session

The Wellness Recovery Network, which aims to help participants thrive not just survive, connects people together to support conversations about mental health recovery and wellbeing. It is open to anyone over the age of 18 years old (16 and 17 year olds are welcome to attend with a responsible adult). The Network takes a meaningful, all inclusive, creative approach, focusing on mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Social and creative sessions including a wellness support group and a wellness singing group, ‘Voice of Hope’ are available for everyone to attend. The wellness support group provides a space to talk with like-minded people about their mental health and focus on strategies and tools that promote wellness and recovery. The sessions are relaxed and participants are encouraged to have open discussions around the theme of the meeting, which will be hosted by a facilitator. Participants are invited to share their experiences and thoughts, but there is no pressure and if they decide not to share that is ok. Feedback from the sessions has been really positive with participants using words such as fun, empowering, positive, and welcoming to describe the sessions.

The ‘Voice of Hope’ wellness singing group is currently running in the Newtownards area and is facilitated by ‘The Right Key’, a singing group who use music to aid recovery. There is lots of evidence that shows singing can be very beneficial to a person’s physical and mental health. The sessions are very informal, starting off with a cup of tea or coffee and an opportunity to chat before the singing starts. The sessions are designed to be uplifting and participants have the option to sing along or to hide in the back if they wish. There is no judgement or pressure, just lots of encouragement and positivity.

Wellness Recovery Network Coordinator, Angela O’Hara said, “One definition of wellness is practising healthy habits on a daily basis to achieve better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving. The Wellness Recovery Network is a simple but life changing approach. It complements existing services in mental health, while placing a real emphasis on connection. Reminding people ‘you are not alone’ by bringing them together, in relaxed sessions that are innovative, with a focus on things we can do to boost our wellness.”

Service User Consultant, Eileen Shevlin explained, “I like to compare personal recovery to the quote ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass it’s about learning to dance in the rain,’ at the Wellness Recovery Network we help each other to understand the importance of Dancing in the Rain, in other words living well alongside our labels, our diagnosis and our illnesses so that they no longer define us.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the Wellness Recovery Network you can telephone: 028 9041 3872 or email wellnessrecoverynetwork@setrust.hscni.net