October 2020 marked one year since the official launch of our Good Life Service at Art and Soul cafe in St Neots and we took the opportunity to celebrate this birthday virtually!
In honour of this milestone, staff and volunteers here at CPSL Mind came together with wider stakeholders (via Zoom) to acknowledge everything that has been accomplished over the past twelve months. Despite the challenges which have emerged this year, we were able to reflect on a successful first year which has positively impacted the lives of more than 2,000 individuals in our local community.
Since its inception in 2019, the Good Life Service has taken a fresh approach to community based wellbeing support and was developed alongside individuals with lived experience of mental health problems. Good Life focuses on individual strengths and skills, encouraging peer support and community connectivity for all regardless of whether or not someone has a mental health diagnosis.
Featuring initiatives such as Good Mood Cafes and Open Door calm spaces, the Good Life Service is immediately accessible without the need for referral by a GP or other health professional. In fact, you don’t even need to be seeking mental health support. Good Life is just as much about encouraging people to maintain positive mental health as it is about supporting individuals who may be struggling. Our Good Mood Cafes, for example, at their heart are informal spaces for like-minded people to connect and chat.
Good Life Service Manager, Chloe Humphrey, says, “For me it has been amazing to be part of a service which has so many different elements and layers plus so many innovative parts of the service to be introduced. What has shone through is the commitment and compassion from staff, volunteers, individuals accessing the service and our partners especially during such unprecedented times. It has been an interesting year and I cannot wait to see what can happen in year 2.”
Additional layers of the service include Qwell (our online wellbeing community), specialist one to one support and Peer Support Groups for wellbeing, personality disorder and hearing voices. All of these elements add to the person-centred, whole community approach that Good Life takes and the impact to individuals has been invaluable.
For Sam, the Good Life Service supported her to stay safe at a difficult time in her life. She says, “I accessed the Good Life Service for the Personality Disorder Peer Support Group. It saved my life. I was going through some real rubbish times at work and in my home life, I was at that point of crisis. It really, really did help me deal with my diagnosis with emotional personality disorder. It made me talk about why I was doing what I was doing and how I could make things better”.
We’re looking forward to another successful and impactful year in 2021 and if you would like to find out more about the Good Life Service you can do so here.