My name’s Jon and I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at 18 after someone put a fast-acting hallucinogenic in my drink, although it wasn’t my first experience of mental health problems.
The medications I was put on at the time were less than ideal for me and I quickly slipped into drinking regularly to self-medicate. At 19 I ended up in a psychiatric unit for a second time, but luckily for me, it had an addiction treatment programme within it. This introduced me to a means of addiction recovery.
Over the years, I’ve had some periods off alcohol, sometimes for several years at a time. However, for various reasons, I always ended up going back to drinking. I had a lot of problems with having to take medication in addiction recovery. Occasionally, someone would say within my hearing range that I’m abusing prescription medications (which I wasn’t) or that I didn’t need to be on medications at all, which I now know to be untrue and misleading.
When I was in my early thirties, I was introduced to some support groups specifically created for those with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues and there I discovered that I am one of the many who have what is called a ‘dual diagnosis’.
I am lucky in that because my mental health problems came first, I have never been turned away from mental health teams, but I have seen and heard about this happening to other people. People who require medication and who are in recovery from addictions sometimes get a hard time in traditional recovery support groups in my experience and, whilst this has improved a little over the years, it’s very hit-and-miss, depending on the individual support group that someone attends.
Relatively recently, the mental health system (which is already dangerously overstretched) has discovered that with some mental health diagnoses, there is an extremely high rate of concurrent addiction. I’d like to help more people to discover and take advantage of ‘dual recovery’.
Dual recovery is when a person with concurrent mental health and addiction issues reaches the stage where they are willing to work on, and treat, both elements of their problems – the addiction issue and the mental health problem at the same time.
The aim of my project is to set up a website that provides information, tools, and resources to aid dual diagnosis recovery, and to help people to find a support group where they can begin to work on the main elements of their problems. Please visit the website at https://www.dualdiagnosis.org.uk
Dual diagnosis doesn’t just affect those afflicted with co-occurring disorders. Like any addiction, it also impacts on carers, family and friends. So, I hope to help signpost some of the best support networks and tools available for them to help minimise the impact of their loved one’s dual diagnosis on their lives.
I also intend to work with, other mental health or addiction organisations that have similar goals to us. The purpose of this is to try to bring about positive change leading to the overall improvement of people’s mental health and their general wellbeing.
We’ll pay for this by developing website for SMEs, other CICs and Charities under the business name of Next Level Web Design through creating a Social Enterprise called Next Level Web Design CIC.
“To Help create a world where all people with complex mental health & addiction needs have a Good chance at recovery”
“To empower people with complex mental health & addiction needs and those who support them by developing and highlighting online tools & resources that are accessible to all giving everyone a chance at recovery.”
Please help me to develop my vision and mission by telling people about my CIC – nextlevelwebdesign.co.uk