South Wales PSC are on the case to make sure the Welsh government’s approach to mental health is focused on creating mentally healthy communities so that everyone can thrive
Photo by David Chubb on Unsplash
My name is Lyndsey and I was born in 1988 to a Welsh mother and father. My father left when I was two and my mum raised me and my two older brothers alone. Mum worked really long hours to provide for us the best she could, but with three children and a house to run, she struggled. Both financially and mentally.I was brought up on a well-known housing estate in south Wales. As a young child, it was a scary place to be. Emergency services were always around because of burnt-out cars, always gang trouble and issues with drugs. As I got older, I became oblivious to the trouble and found the community spirit amazing. Everyone would help each other out with anything needed.
I enjoyed primary school for a time but I experienced personal trauma and school then became a struggle for me. I never felt like I belonged there, like I was different. I used to “act out” because I never had the confidence to speak out. Going to secondary school, I no longer had the escape I needed. I struggled with my anger and felt I had nobody to turn to. I channelled my frustrations in the wrong way, which resulted in me being excluded from school with no qualifications at 15. I struggled for the next few years.
I started full time work at 19. It was there I met my now husband. Things happened quickly and I fell pregnant. Once the baby arrived, I moved areas to be a family. I moved to Abertillery and struggled with the different way of life. I also had postnatal depression and had no knowledge of any support networks that could help. Being so far from my family’s help, I felt isolated and couldn’t see a way out.
My mental health took a beating and I struggled to be a parent. I’ve continued to struggle, but it took my son being born in 2017 to finally get help. After battling postnatal again, my health visitor put us in touch with Families First. The help and support we’ve received from them has been phenomenal. Without the support of everyone involved at Families First, I genuinely fear my children wouldn’t have had a mother. Having them on hand has been a brilliant opportunity for me. I’ve done Circle of Security with them and that has given me the tools I need to be a better parent. They also got me onto a childcare course to give me a chance to better myself. It’s something I always wanted to do but never had the financial means.
Due to my husband starting his own business, we are not entitled to any benefits. We only receive child tax credits, which means that once the bills are paid there’s barely enough money left to feed the children. We get by on £100 a week. That’s £100 to pay the mortgage, utility bills, feed and clothe our children.
Your clearest explanation of the New Economy yet - plus how it connects to wellbeing and Extinction Rebellion
Confused about what exactly Community Wealth Building is? Like the sound of the latest Green New Deal but unsure what it means? Let Miles Thompson be your guide as he reflects on a rousing first Stir to Action festival
In July, I rather surprised my tent which had only just been taken down from Glastonbury, by putting it up again just outside of Frome. The occasion was the inaugural Stir to Action festival. Its title: “Playground for the New Economy”.
Stir to Action, founded by Jonny Gordon-Farleigh, produces both STIR, a quarterly magazine, and a nationwide series of workshops informing the public about aspects of the “New Economy”. But what is the New Economy? Hopefully this blog, summarising some of the content presented at the festival, will give you an overview if the term is new to you. It is also hoped the blog will map out a terrain where we can build more links between those interested in New Economies and those interested in Psychologists for Social Change (PSC). Both seem passionate about reforming the structures that create and maintain inequality, advancing alternatives to austerity and tackling the social determinants of distress.
PSC is a network of people interested in applying psychology to generate social and political action. You don't have to be a member of PSC to contribute to the blog