Recovery Pathways is a Trust citywide service. Through creative and wellbeing themed practice that is delivered in supportive settings, we aim to build confidence and skills, enable personal recovery from mental distress and support access to moving on.

Recovery Pathways continues to engage service users despite challenges.  Watch this video to see the inventive ways the team reached out to people during 2020:

 

 

Recovery Pathways Case Studies

"Studio One staff gave me my life back. I will never be able to thank them enough!"

"Studio One staff gave me my life back.  I will never be able to thank them enough!"

 

Anastasia Hesketh tells us of her time with Recovery Pathways at Studio One, participating in the Introductory Course and attending weekly Textiles sessions. 

Studio One

“For the first time in years, I feel I have a bright future, and am excited about all that life has in store for me. Who knows, maybe one day my dream will come true, and I could be an art wellbeing tutor too”

 

Why were you referred to our service?

I was referred to your service by the Mental Health Home Treatment team, based at Laureate House, roughly 18 months ago, because they recognised my creativity and suggested that being involved with Studio 1 would prevent me isolating when I am having a Bipolar low mood, help me keep to a routine, engage in activities I enjoy, and maintain my wellbeing.  I had attempted suicide several times and they thought being involved with Studio 1 would give me hope and purpose, which it certainly has! 

Please can you tell us about any challenges you experienced before being involved with Recovery Pathways?

Before being involved with Recovery Pathways I faced the daily challenges of living with Mixed Affective State Bipolar with rapid cycles. I struggled to have hope and purpose....I felt I had none. I isolated most of the time and was often anxious about leaving the house. I had forgotten who I was and lacked finding enjoyment in activities I used to enjoy.

Please can you tell us about what projects you have been involved with during your time with us?

During my time with Recovery Pathways I have been involved in the introductory course and Textiles. At the same time, as well as sessions at Studio 1, I have accessed other courses elsewhere: Art to Improve Mood (MAES), Back on Track,  The LAB Project,  Level 2 Counselling,  The Arthur + Martha Lockdown project. I am now also part of the group of artists called Pool Art and have Studio space with them. I am coming to the end of a 12-week course with Portraits of Recovery called ‘Sounds from the Edges’.

How have things changed for you since being part of Recovery Pathways? 

Since being part of Recovery Pathways, my life has changed unbelievably. I have grown in confidence in my artistic skills and techniques, been introduced to new media and methods of working which has enabled me to develop and grow to the point where I now believe in myself as an artist. I was worried at the start of Lockdown that I would feel isolated, but weekly phone calls, activities then online sessions have really kept me going, and I've been making art on a daily basis.

What benefits have you seen to your mental health and wellbeing by being part of Recovery Pathways?

My mental health and wellbeing have been massively impacted in a positive way.....I no longer isolate. I maintain a good routine and am reliable. I am hopeful. My involvement and support from mental health services has been hugely reduced. My medication has been reduced. I have found myself again and recovered my interests and passions. I am hopeful about the future and believe the future is very bright for me. I have a happy future.

What’s next for you?

I am about to be discharged from the Textiles Core group at Studio One to begin working with my textiles tutor Mia Nisbet in a voluntary capacity, with a plan to take over as group facilitator of the community Peer group ‘Makers Meet’ which is held in St Andrew's Church. The support and encouragement I have received from Studio One has given me the confidence to reach out and support others creatively by sharing ideas and contributing to and being involved in other projects.

I've also been offered a place on the Foundation Diploma in Art course, at Manchester College. 

I've been taken on as a volunteer at Inspiring Change Manchester to develop and facilitate an art for healing course for women with experience of mental health issues, substance misuse, homelessness and abusive relationships. 

I will continue to participate in my artwork at Pool Arts.

When I first came to Studio One, I didn't believe I had a future, now, to borrow Oprah Winfrey's words, " The future is SO bright, it burns my eyes!".....My dreams are coming true, and I actually believe I AM AN ARTIST!

 

Art

Art creation

Benefit

Arts and painting help people build confidence through empowerment, self-expression and mastering new skills. Art can be a form of self-help, enabling people to express difficult emotions and thus helping with stress management and prevention. Several studies have explored the benefits of art for mental health including reducing depression and anxiety in adults with mild-severe mental illness. Art groups help reduce loneliness and social isolation as participants feel more connected. This has been seen among minority groups who would usually experience high levels of social exclusion.

 

Links to local/national policies

 

Benefit

Policy

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Reduce social isolation

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014) 

Empowerment

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Helping people aspire and succeed

Our Manchester Strategy

Self-help/self-care

Manchester’s Self-Care Strategy

The Manchester Prevention Programme

 

Research/evidence base

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing Inquiry Report (2017) - Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing

Fancourt, D., Finn, S. (2019) - What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health

and well-being? A scoping review. World Health Organisation

Gillam, T. (2018) Enhancing public mental health and wellbeing through creative arts participation. (2018) Journal of Public Mental Health. Volume 17 Issue 4.

Health Development Agency (2000) - Art for Health: A review of good practice in community-based arts projects and initiatives which impact on health and wellbeing

Lewis, L., Tew, J., Ecclestone, K., and Spandler, H. (2016) - Mutuality, Wellbeing and Mental Health Recovery: Exploring the roles of creative arts adult community learning and participatory arts initiatives.

 

Volunteering

 

Benefit

Volunteering in projects and performing acts of kindness can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing. Cohort studies have found that volunteering has positive effects on depression, life satisfaction and wellbeing. There is also some evidence to suggest that volunteers have lower risk of mortality. Individuals recovering from severe mental disorders have found that volunteering helped them rebuild self-identity and made them feel valued and respected. Regular responsibilities helped them feel a sense of regaining normality.

 

Links to local/national policies

 

Benefit

Policy

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Social inclusion

More engaged in community

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014) 

Manchester Population Health Plan

Community ownership and long-term sustainability

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (HM Government, 2010)

Empowerment of individuals

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (HM Government, 2010)

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014) 

Increased physical activity and physical health

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

 

Research/evidence base

Curry et al (2018) Happy to help? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of performing acts of kindness on the well-being of the actor. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 76, pp. 320-329

Jenkinson, C.E., Dickens, A.P., Jones, K. et al. (2013) Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers. BMC Public Health, 13 (773)

NCVO (2018) Impactful Volunteering: Understanding the Impact of Volunteering on Volunteers

Pérez-Corrales J, Pérez-de-Heredia-Torres M, Martínez-Piedrola R, et al. (2019) ‘Being normal’ and self-identity: the experience of volunteering in individuals with severe mental disorders—a qualitative study. BMJ Open 9 (e025363)

Pillemer et al (2010) Environmental Volunteering and Health Outcomes over a 20-Year Period, The Gerontologist, 50 (5), pp. 594-602

 

Peer mentoring – move on opportunities for service users to be involved in delivery of sessions with their peers and staff 

 

Benefit

Peer Mentoring Programme co-developed by service users and staff, is designed to help people with mental health problems through different stages of their recovery. The Programme model is to match people who have experienced mental health problems with people are at an earlier stage of their recovery journey who need more support. Research shows it helps mentors and service users  with personal recovery, skills development; improved understandings of mental health and wellbeing; and the quality of their networks or social relationships, achieving practically-oriented goals (such as resolving a benefits problem); increased levels of motivation and hope; and improvement in mental health symptoms.

 

Links to local/national policies

 

Benefit

Policy

Helping people live healthier lives

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Addressing health inequalities

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Community ownership and responding using community assets

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (HM Government, 2010)

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014) 

Manchester Population Health Plan

Increased mental wellbeing

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

 

Research/evidence base

Mental Health Foundation: Peer Support

Together for Mental Wellbeing: Peer Support

The Mental Elf: The Two Pots? Experiences of peer workers within mental health services

GMMH: Becoming a peer mentor at GMMH Using your lived experience to support recovery.

McPinn Foundation: Peer Mentoring Service at Camden VoiceAbility – A Qualitative Evaluation

MIND: Mental health peer support in England: Piecing together the jigsaw

NHS England: Peer Support Workers use lived experience to support mental health service users’ recovery in the communit

 

IPS (Individual Placement and Support) Employment Service was “absolutely invaluable to me.”

“Absolutely invaluable to me.”

Richard Ramsey talks about his involvement with the IPS (Individual Placement and Support) Employment Service.

IPS Presentation

 

Why were you referred to our service?

Following a very long period of mental ill health, l decided, albeit tentatively, to undertake some voluntary work at Park House.  I then decided I wanted to achieve my goal of returning to paid employment.

I needed support with confidence building, compiling a CV, job search activity and interview techniques.  I also needed support when speaking with the DWP and support around the benefit system.  I felt I also needed a lot of support when looking at various work sectors and looking at transferrable skills and abilities.

Please can you tell us about any challenges you experienced before being involved with Recovery Pathways?

My main challenge was the length of time I had been away from the workplace as I had been mostly indoors for a considerable number of years.  I felt the stigma around my diagnosis and mental health was my biggest challenge.  I also felt that not having a good work history or recent employment job reference was also a challenge and I was absolutely certain that no one would want to employ me.

Confidence was also a problem for me as I spent most of my time with my immediate family.

How have things changed for you since being part of Recovery Pathways? 

I have received support for over seven years now.  In my opinion I have changed beyond recognition.

With Rita’s continued support, I have changed jobs and began the journey of career development, ultimately leading me into my present post within the NHS, of which, I am very proud.

My confidence has grown immensely. I now have a much better relationship with my family and peers.  I have made new friends.  I now have a partner and drive a car.  My confidence has grown and my ability to converse with a wide variety of people from various backgrounds.

I now feel confident to look at the possibility of undertaking a degree in September 2021, I am currently looking at all my options.

The retention support I receive from Rita has been invaluable alongside all the continuing support during the recent very difficult lockdown due to COVID-19, this has proven more valuable than I ever could have imagined.

What benefits have you seen to your mental health and wellbeing by being part of Recovery Pathways?

Again my mental health has most definitely improved.  I am no longer under the Community Mental Health Team.  More recently I have had a reduction in my medication and the improvement is quite unbelievable really.

What’s next for you?

To continue to work towards a happy work life balance with “good mental health”

To continue to take on new challenges

To continue to receive the invaluable support I currently receive from Rita and the IPS Employment Service.

I cannot thank Rita and the IPS Employment Service enough.  I have grown in confidence and I am so much happier.  Thank you.

 

Benefits of Employment on our mental health

All of us have the right to decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. For persons with mental health problems, achieving this right is particularly challenging. The importance of work in enhancing the economic and social integration of people with mental health problems is clear, and also the need for setting up effective preventive and rehabilitative programmes. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure workers with disabilities, or physical or mental health conditions, are not substantially disadvantaged when doing their jobs. Support based on individual needs should be offered, which may include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace.

 

Links to local/national policies

 

Benefit

Policy

Helping people live healthier lives

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Addressing health inequalities

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Community ownership and responding using community assets

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (HM Government, 2010)

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014) 

Manchester Population Health Plan

Increased mental wellbeing

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

 

Research/evidence base

The Health Foundation: Employment and unemployment: How does work affect our health?

World Health Organization: Mental health and work: Impact, issues and good practices

HM Government: Work and Health Programme

DWP: Access to Work Mental Health Support Service

HM Government: Get support in work if you have a disability or health condition (Access to Work)

Rethink Mental Illness:  Work and mental illness factsheet

HSE: Mental health conditions, work and the workplace

MIND: How to be mentally healthy at work

DWP: Mental health and work

Royal College of Psyhiatrists: Employment and Mental Health

Mental Health Network: Working it out: employment for people with a mental health condition

Mental Health at Work: Your first stop for better mental health at work

Nesting Box & Bug House Project

Nesting Box & Bug House Project

One of our Recovery Pathway tutors talked to us about a Nesting Box & Bug House Project with our service users!  Find out more below.

The project was devised within lockdown 2021 as a way of continuing to engage Benchmark service users in meaningful activity as part of their journey with Recovery Pathways.  The sessions were goal focused and designed to benefit participants wellbeing by following instructions, making decisions and using creative talents to construct & decorate wildlife habitats. As their woodwork tutor, I put together packs of materials/kits and delivered to people’s homes. This gave the opportunity to meet face to face (socially distanced) to go through any finer points of the construction process that might be lost through the medium of online delivery. We then constructed the kits together in online sessions in small achievable steps. The participants involved said that they liked regular activities, making things, and keeping busy.

This helped to keep people well and distracted from other symptoms they may be experiencing. As regular sessions could not go ahead, this project helped people to continue to work on their individual goals that had been established at the beginning of their time with Benchmark.

What was the outcome of the project?

The project concluded successfully, with the easing of lockdown restrictions and a spell of warm sunny weather which enabled us to have socially distanced sessions in the participants gardens. We put the finishing touches to the nesting boxes & bug houses, added brackets to the back of the boxes and then installed them in place.

 

Benefits

Men’s Sheds, community groups that provide a space for men to do carpentry and small construction work, have been reported to enhance men’s health and wellbeing. Men benefit from participation, camaraderie, socialisation and skill development. Individuals who have suffered from severe mental illness (SMI) often have difficulty finding employment after recovery. Case studies of people recovering from SMI report that volunteering in woodwork/joinery roles has helped people develop increased confidence, self-esteem and transferrable skills to gain paid employment.

 

Quotes from participants – service users and carers

What, if anything, did you enjoy or find beneficial about the session?

“Being creative.  Social contact and humour.  A sense of achievement.

We really enjoyed every moment and John was brilliant”

 

“Both client and carer being able to work together. Being able to carry on through lockdown, when such activities are particularly important. 

Not needing to travel”

 

“The staff where I live were impressed with what I had made, they said they would buy something like that, this made me feel proud of what I had done.”

 

“Kept me busy, and kept me well. Kept me occupied from other voices.  Made me feel proud”

 

“Liked being in my own home especially when feelings of paranoia

bug house   bird box  

bug houses    fixing bug house

 

Links to local/national policies

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

 

Reduce social isolation

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014) 

Employability

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Helping people aspire and succeed

Our Manchester Strategy

 

Research & Evidence base

Wilson, N.J. and Cordier, R. (2013) A narrative review of Men’s Sheds literature: reducing social isolation and promoting men’s health and well‐being. Health & Social Care in the Community, 21: 451-463. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12019

MILLIGAN, CHRISTINE, et al. (2016) Older Men and Social Activity: a Scoping Review of Men's Sheds and Other Gendered Interventions. Ageing and Society. 36(5) pp. 895–923., doi:10.1017/S0144686X14001524.

Reinie Cordier, Nathan J. Wilson. (2014) Community-based Men's Sheds: promoting male health, wellbeing and social inclusion in an international contextHealth Promotion International , 29(3)  pp.  483–493.

Olivier Vardakoulias (2013) The Economic Benefits of Ecominds: A case study approach


Recovery Pathways Annual Report 2020
The service offers time-limited programmes of specific activities that encourage independence, improve wellbeing strategies, and access to leisure, education and employment or volunteering opportunities. 

We help people to lead valued lives by providing support, goal-focused activity, learning and training. Through creative activity and meaningful occupation we support people with their aspirations, achieve their goals and be part of their communities.
 

Read our annual report:  RP Annual Report 2020 final.pdf

The service is broken down into the following areas:

  • Start
  • Studio One
  • Benchmark
  • Green Wellbeing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Arts for Good Health Courses
  • Individual Placement Support – Employment Service (for clients on CPA only)

Short courses and other sessions are frequently run at a range of settings across the city. Working with goals in mind, Recovery Pathways activity services encourage personal reflection and help individuals to achieve in the following ways:

  • Effectively manage symptoms
  • Build confidence and self esteem
  • Recognise and apply coping strategies
  • Notice the world around us
  • Practise good decision making
  • Improve social skills and connect with others
  • Increase independence
  • Become comfortable in groups settings
  • Recognise progress
  • Manage commitment and routine

There are two pathways into our service through a central referral email address and for more information on how to refer please see below…

How to refer

Referring to Recovery Pathways means that service users have access to time-limited support of around 12 months including a regular review of progress, occupational therapy where needs are identified, a variety of activities and a moving on plan.

Referrals will be considered using the following criteria:

  • People over the age of 18
  • Manchester resident
  • Existing Trust user
  • Under care of CPA with up to date Risk & CPA (within 12 months)
  • or meets NEC criteria (with Lead Professional involved for duration of their engagement with our service)

Please send NEC form by email with password protection or by post to Recovery Pathways Referrals, Cornbrook Enterprise Centre, 70 Quenby Street, Hulme, Manchester M15 4HW

NEC Form -  National eligibility criteria for social care.docx


Please email referrals to: referrals.recoverypathways@gmmh.nhs.uk

For further advice, please call 07436 560 917

Or contact Charlotte Brown, Recovery Pathways Lead 07890 996 586
 

Results from Coronavirus Support from the Recovery Pathways

Results are coming in from the continued support and encouragement for service users from the Recovery Pathways team.  Creative activity still continues, despite being at home, and our service users have benefitted from regular contact and projects that have been shared over the phone, email and through the post.  For one service user, this meant creating a table out of an old pallet with the encouragement and advice from the Benchmark team. 

Keep connected, keep active and keep learning something new… Links to courses available below

recoverypathways Why Not Try

Why Not Try Why Not Try Why Not Try

Why Not Try Creative Courses

Why not try - Neurographic Style Art?

Free resource to start your Neurographic art journey.
Download the pack here:  Why Not Try- Neurographic Art.pdf

Why not try - Annie's 3D Collage?

Free resource to start your 3D collage journey.
Download the pack here:  Why Not Try - Annie's Found Story 3D Collage.pdf

Why not try - Journal Writing?

Free resource to start your journaling journey.
Download the pack here:  Why Not Try - Journal Writing.pdf

Why not try - Upcycling?

Free resource to start your upcycling journey, inspired by Frida Kahlo. As a Mexican Artist, Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, pain and passion, and bold, vibrant colours
Download the pack here:  Why Not Try - Frida.pdf

Why not try - Creative Writing?

Free resource to start your creative writing journey.
Download the pack here: Why not try - Creative Writing.pdf
Download the second pack here:  Why Not Try - Creative Writing 2.pdf

Why not try - Seed Planting?

Free resource to start your gardening journey.
Download the pack here:  Why not try- Planting Seeds.pdf
 

Why not try - Drawing?

Free resource to start your drawing journey.
Download the part 1 of the pack here:   Why Not Try- Drawing Part 1.pdf
Download the part 2 of the pack here:   Why Not Try- Drawing Part 2.pdf

Why not try - Mindfulness?

Free resource to start your mindfulness journey.
Download the pack here:   Why Not Try Mindfulness Week 1.pdf
 

Why not try - Collage?

Free resource to start your collaging journey.
Download the pack here:   Why Not Try - Collage.pdf

Why not try - Mia's Textiles Projects?

Free resource to start your textiles journey. 
Download the pack here:   Why Not Try - Mia's Textiles Projects.pdf