Lived experience panel wows Somerset

When you ask How are you? Don’t forget to ask for a second time, because that’s when people will really open up.

That was the heartfelt advice given to a packed audience at the recent launch of a new support service in Somerset called Step Together. One of the panel members, Tee said it was only when her recovery coach Mary asked her a second time that she revealed her true feelings.

This along with other insights marked the highlight of a busy launch event which brought together people from across the county and from many organisations including: Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service, Nelson Trust, Village Agents, Somerset Activities and Sports Patnerhsip, ARA Gambling and Somerset County Council.

Step Together is run by mental health charity Second Step and their partners ARA, and offers support and housing advice to up to 300 people across Somerset.

The highlight of last Wednesday’s launch which marked World Mental Health Day, was the panel discussion about the importance of connections and putting mental health first.

Aileen Edwards, Second Step’s Chief Executive, said: “The panel of clients and staff really held the room as they shared their personal experiences. It was moving and uplifting for us all.”

The new service, which supports people to manage their tenancies, reduce homelessness and fulfill their dreams, has high hopes for its clients.

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