The Big Six- Kay

Member Stories

This blog is part of a series of articles where you can get to know more about our Members. The Members of Designs In Mind are our Designer Makers- learning skills in a variety of forms that create the beautiful products we sell in our shop. All our Members are in touch with Mental Health services in Shropshire and everyone has a different story. The Big Six shares a little insight into who they are and what they do here at Designs In Mind.

Kay this is your Big Six are you ready?

1. How do you describe what you do at Designs In Mind to other people?

I call myself an artist particularly to people who don’t know me because for that’s what the group is about. I come here to do art not to be ill.

I avoid talking about who and why people come in, because some people don’t want to be associated with it- that mental health stigma.

When people come here you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between volunteers, staff or members.

2. Name 3 of your specialist skills here…

Helping with new referrals and the workshops- I enjoy that ability to teach and help. I come from a teaching background so I can keep my skills fresh there.

Photoshop/ illustrator- I know that I can help in this area at Designs In Mind. The ability to problem solve in this area is useful.

At the moment I am learning about the whole process for example wet felting to pricking and embellishment- I want to know what the whole process is for a product or a commission and be involved in that.

It is really nice that everyone is good at different things. Here you are not restricted to whether or not you’re good at drawing, different people can be involved in different parts of the process. It encourages teamwork stops the work being isolated.

3. What are your favourite words of wisdom?

Art gives mentally ill patients a method of communicating and interacting with others which focuses on something other than being ill.

4. The votes are in- You’ve won! If you got elected as Prime Minister what changes would you like to see in healthcare?

Open up the occupational therapy department across the board to people living in the community. Otherwise people are focusing on being ill, it slows their recovery and prevents them for getting better. This would enable people to socialise with other people, have some time when don’t feel stressed and pressured and explore creative potential.

People can really struggle from getting that work and social life balance.

People are stuck in places against their will and there is nothing at the weekend for people to do. Live events are needed, more workshops, more of life! There are lots of up and coming bands wanting places to perform and lots of ill people sitting in bed not able to enjoy themselves.

Even though they’re in hospital they have to have enjoyment.

Students who are stuck in hospital get tutored. Adults don’t get anything.

That’s another things that needs improving the food- awful! The staff don’t eat it why should we.

I feel like I’ve been used a human guinea pig. Testing things out till they find the right drug for me. There is not enough research into why one drug works for one person and not for others.

I feel like I’ve been in the system for longer than I should have been because of the system.

I felt like I had no choice in what treatment I had. I wasn’t treated as human- I was treated like a prisoner.

5. What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people’s enthusiasm. The idea of working as a team.

I love the ideas stage of things. How things can work- what we could look at doing.

I’m a very visual person, I get inspired by what I see. I find it useful to collect ideas- I often do this sub consciously- seeing something on tv, reading a book, clicking on random links. I’m lucky that I have my iPad and I can get online to gain ideas from all the time.

6. What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard people say about your health condition?

I was very lonely for a very long time. Many people just ran away from me. I know I was difficult to be around and people just didn’t know what to do. I don’t know if it’s ridiculous, it felt it to me. It’s what happened- people just ran away.

Thank You Kay