Yasma's story: Why I joined the regional committee.
Digital team's blog
Yasma Osman-A is a semi-retired Registered Nurse, Motivation/Educator, and a proud mother of six and grandmother of 5. Below, Yasma talks about her journey with Rethink Mental Illness and how mental illness has impacted her life.
My journey with Rethink Mental Illness began only a few months ago, when I became a family career and advocate for my brother who has suffered with schizophrenia from the age of 18.
My sister and I found ourselves constantly fighting the system and reminding everyone that having a mental illness does not make my brother any less of a person. It was a frustrating process.
I had spoken to someone called Valerie, who informed me about Rethink Mental Illness and what it takes to become a committee member. It takes focus, commitment, and a passion to help improve the way others see mental health. The conversation was exciting, and I finally felt I could use my determination and frustration in the right way by becoming an active volunteer.
Until that conversation, I’d never heard of an organisation that has such an amazing and compassionate approach to mental health.
I believe that at any given time we can all experience mental illness and it’s so important we are all aware of it.
I then joined Rethink Mental Illness and became a member which meant I received all of their wonderful and informative information packages. By reading the information included in the pack I began to understand how the organization works, and how mental health is at the heart of everything they do.
I even contacted their advisory services, and a wonderful gentleman listened to my distress as I explained the way the system had been treating my brother. He was able to tell me which channels I should be accessing to continue my fight for better care for my brother.
During this time, I was invited to observe a meeting in Birmingham, and be informally assessed for a regional committee position. It was very interesting to see how various focus groups worked and what was being done in different services, such as vegetable growing and group cooking!
I was honored to be chosen and am now looking forward to supporting Rethink Mental Illness at their 2017 conference, and using my life experience to help the organization.
I hope my journey with Rethink Mental Illness continues to grow as a volunteer and carer!