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What are the challenges
What are the solutions
What are my experiences

The benefits
What we do

How it benefits
What we do

What are the benefits of welfare?
How does it help in recovery?

What is the use of carers?
What we make possible?

Severe mental health seems to be affecting just under 1% of people in the United Kingdom at any given time and seems to be growing according to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The phrase severe mental health (SMI) refers to people with psychological problems that are often so debilitating that their ability to engage in functional and occupational activities is severely impaired. Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder are often referred to as SMI.

Poor physical health is common in people with SMI and the following has been found in people with SMI according to Her Majesties Government (gov.uk).

On average people with SMI:
- Die on average 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population
- Have 3.7 times higher death rate for ages under 75 than the general population
- Experience a widening gap in death rates over time

With relation to bipolar and schizophrenia, 3 in 100 people will be diagnosed with these conditions in any given year with rates of recovery varying from individual to individual.

Where individuals do not recover, this often has a profound effect on the family of the individual, including but not limited to, breakdown of relationships, financial crises of the family, joblessness, homelessness, and more.

Employment rates for people with schizophrenia are low. It is estimated that only 8% of people with schizophrenia in the UK are employed in some part-time, full time, or self-employed role, compared to a national employment rate of 71%. This is even though many people with schizophrenia state obtaining work is a significant factor in their recovery journey. For example, of participants in a survey who were not engaged in employment or related activities, 59.4% said they would like to be.

Coupled with these problems, negative symptoms, and the side effects of medication, such as weight gain or even the exacerbation of the very same symptoms the medication hopes to alleviate, sufferers begin to go down a negative spiral in their lives.

I’m minded attempts to overcome these obstacles through the holistic recovery it offers to its clients, developed by someone who has improved from a complex severe mental health condition, in the hope of bettering the lives of individuals and their families and hopefully lead to the sufferer's recovery. This is based on the fact that this approach is helping the founder directly to benefit himself, his family, friends, and the community.

The holistic model developed by I’m minded brings together over 10 years of experience from someone who is recovering from paranoid schizophrenia in partnership with stakeholders in trade, psychology, fitness, and care, all of which aim to deliver a practical model that supports an individuals recovery with the support of everyone who can be involved.

The holistic model encourages the use of RELATIONSHIPS, SENSE OF MEANING, and PARTICIPATION to work with people who are suffering from severe mental health such as schizophrenia, which affects up to 1 in 100 people every year. These three elements have been found to help a person recover.

Focussed employment tasks

We work with individuals to work towards projects that help them earn an income and in turn do so with a purpose that is enhancing humanity. This, the development of self-esteem, agency, and active participation in life, is in studies an empowering process that both creates and is created by a sense of purpose for something they are working towards. People with SMI feel that PARTICIPATION in what was meaningful, helping, or productive, as roles, positively impacted the recovery journey of patients with severe mental illness, as studies have shown. Some of these studies explored the different life roles of their participants related to productive work such as employment, parenthood, volunteering, religious practice, or self-care. For example, one study found that gaining and maintaining employment was associated with financial stability, increased self-esteem, and empowerment. Decreased boredom, associated with employment, was also associated with an increase in meaningful activities, which was, in turn, associated with increased social interaction and feelings of inclusion.

Private psychology

Our work with sufferers to help them make sense of their experience is based on the notion that each persons’ recovery is purely unique to them. The work with private psychologists enables us to help individuals gain a SENSE OF MEANING from someone who works to understand their condition and enable them to find solutions to accept their condition and work with it or around it, whichever is more suitable. This is combined with active knowledge building with people who have or are suffering. Building a sense of self was also seen as non-linear, occurring in stages, and encompassing physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of the person, which our partner psychologists support. Studies seeking an individuals perspective on recovery from severe mental illness identified personal agency as a key to recovery. Factors described as contributing to personal agency included perceived determination to get better, optimism, taking responsibility to help themselves, and understanding, managing, and accepting their illness.

Care workers

We work with and bring together friends or family of people with Severe Mental Illness to help them, potentially, as their carers or supporters. By training care workers or educating supporters with issues that the sufferer experiences as well as general knowledge of mental health, we help them pick up skills that allow them to communicate with the sufferer and encourage and motivate them. It is understood that individuals would be better able to cope with triggers when they have someone to talk to, to help them make objective sense of the situation they are in. This enables opportunities to help individuals reconnect with and build better and stronger RELATIONSHIPS with significant others, within family and friends, which is seen by many who suffer as significant contributors towards recovery.

Physical Exercise and Training

It is known that one of the major side effects of anti-psychotics that individuals are given leads to lethargy, weight gain, lack of self-esteem, and other side effects – physical or psychological. Training provisioned by trained practitioners enables us to help the individual care for themselves, gives them measurable results for efforts that they can see, improves confidence and self-esteem, leading to better self-care, and that in itself lowers weight gain and also leads to better mental health.

Benefits application

By working with individuals to apply and maximise their benefits income while they are attempting to get better, helps the individual focus on recovery without the stresses or risks poverty can place on them. This coupled with all the other benefits helps us and the family focus on the recovery of the individual.

Studies around our approach on recover with sense of meaning, relationships, and participation. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.586230/full

It was the year 2011 and Mohammed was gearing up for his final year as a mature student at university. He had gone through a lot to get to where he was, including unemployment, homelessness, a spinal condition, and delays in completing his university degree course. He was doing well, he was on track to achieve a first (1:1) in a Bachelors of Business Studies degree. After his first few lectures in this final year of study, he was approached by a member of staff and he felt like he was being harassed. This led to a freeze reaction in front of the staff where his whole body felt like it was vibrating and then within moments a flight (fear) reaction followed by a fight (anger) reaction.

Within days he began to feel sensations in his body and feeling paranoid because of events around him. He couldn’t understand what was happening around him, and constant anxiety, which was followed by fight and flight reactions. Not too soon later, he began to hold delusions which were compounded by his google searches for information, what people had been saying to him, and loads of circumstances. Turning trends in the community and on TV into signs, omens, and facts.

Not so soon after, he began seeing hallucinations that reacted to his thoughts and voices in his head that made him feel threatened as he thought something bigger was at play. A conspiracy theory of mass mind control!

His family arranged to take him to a Raqi, someone who performs a form of exorcism because they believed that he was possessed. Not knowing the ruling on exorcism, which is the recitation of the Quran, he began to feel he was being attacked by jinn. Interestingly, Prophet Muhammad PBUH stated according to narrations by three companions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH that it is impermissible to do reading of Quran on people for anything but envy and scorpion stings.

He was soon hospitalised 9 months after first being harassed and in hospital and he began to distrust what the purpose of being hospitalised was. He began holding individuals of the health service as acting against him and society. He wouldn’t talk to individuals about his story, what he was thinking, or what he was experiencing. He was constantly distressed and in anxiety whilst he had symptoms of visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations instructing him to harm those he held dearly: family, friends, associates, and random community members. Each hallucination confirmed what came before of delusions, each confirming his fears, each instructing him to act harmfully, and each incrementally worse than the one before. This severely restricted him from going to gatherings with friends and family, walking outside, taking public transport, bathing, cooking, or even eating with a knife and fork.

Fast forward to 2021 and he now is working on a project that aims to derive an income for himself, whilst he gets the support to continue working. His carer is someone he trusts and knows who helps him deal with his symptoms, and he is incrementally getting better. This was only possible 2 years ago when he decided to focus on his mental health, in a manner that did not degenerate his religious beliefs (that which he knew of and that which he found out by reading the instructions by God as recorded in the Quran - As God, Allah, says “Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness’s into the light…and those who disbelieve….They (their disbelief) take(s) them out of the light into darkness’s.”

Focussing on recovery and childhood aspirations he held since he was 8 - to create a foundation that owns profit-generating businesses, to eradicate poverty, and generate income for charitable projects – it helped him finish university and continue fighting to recover in life and make progress. He has come a long way since.

With I’m Minded he has partnered with and hopes to work with stakeholders in the mental health industry to offer individuals with severe mental health and their families obtain the opportunities he relied upon to work towards recovery through relationships, purpose, and participation - those social elements that facilitate recovery.

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