[Originally posted 10 November 2017]

I am writing to introduce myself as Suresearch website editor, and to ask people to contribute to the site through reflective writing and narrative in their own uniquely personal way, as well as sharing valuable news, views and information on wider involvement in mental health research, education and training.

I am aware that It is in the balancing of ‘inner and outer activities’ that we grow and thrive best as individuals and citizens. My own background has been in Industry, Commerce, Education and the Arts. As a former Careers and Training advisor I worked with socially disadvantaged and special needs clients. During the 1980’s, I was involved with developing Individual Profiling and Records of Achievement, Technical and Vocational Education (TVEI), and Creative and Expressive Arts in South Birmingham schools.

I am a performance poet and have been writing and publishing poetry, articles and booklets related to personal, social and spiritual concerns for well over thirty-five years now.

Following the onset of severely disabling illness with rapid onset Rheumatoid Arthritis, in 2004, I eventually began to share my own creative writing, narrative and poetry in the field of healthcare. This led on to collaborative work as a service user and researcher, working alongside local NHS staff at all levels to develop a Recovery focused approach to mental health services.

Since becoming a member of Suresearch in 2010, I have been actively involved (initially as the Recovery website and Newsletter editor with Health and Care Worcester NHS Trust), in supporting people using mental health services to publish their own creative work and personal narrative.

I have also been involved in several research projects, including: Mental health and self-identity, Well-being, and Creative practice and mutual recovery. The latter, led by Professor Paul Crawford of Nottingham University and funded by AHRC, is part of a national project called, ‘Connecting communities for mental health and well-being.’

Suresearch offers an environment of mutual support and respect, for people from a wide variety of backgrounds to share their own views and experiences of mental health-related issues, and for them to convert personal challenges into opportunities for creative involvement in Mental health research, education and training.

Long may this vital mutual support and active involvement continue.

Tony Devaney

To discuss or submit contributions to the website, please complete the website contact form. Members can also email myself or Suresearch directly.