Publish date: 23 February 2024

Becky Townsend, a Peer Support Worker at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is using her lived experience to support others with their mental health.

As a former service user, Becky received Structured Clinical Management (SCM) which is endorsed by Health Education England and is offered to service users in secondary mental health care who present with complex emotional needs (sometimes also known as personality disorder). This evidence-based therapeutic model of care provides a variety of support, including a ‘Problem Solving Group’ which teaches skills and tools to help a person understand and regulate their emotions. This is a ‘diagnosis of hope’ as, with the right treatment and mindset, a service user can work towards no longer meeting the criteria and leaving recovery with no diagnosis at all.

Becky said: ‘I am proud of who I am today, since engaging with SCM I’ve gained a sense of self-worth and respect; I am excited about life! I get to work every day with service users who are like how I used to be and, using my lived experience, I am able to support them on their own recovery journey by helping them see that life is worth living, that recovery is possible, and to be that beacon of hope. I offer 1:1 appointments, assist with SCM supervision and training, and even co-facilitate the problem solving group I used to attend! I can’t think of anything more rewarding than giving back to the service that helped me’.

“The Complex Emotional Needs Team helps people at their most vulnerable and the team can help transform a person’s experience of life from despair to joy and fulfilment.”

For more information on Structured Clinical Management, Becky has created a co-produced informational video about Structured Clinical Management (SCM) which is now live on Youtube.