Dave's Progress. Chapter 115: Pathways Group Launches New Website.

At a mental health fair in Stoke town centre last Friday, the Pathways Group officially launched its new website. The site is, if truth be told, in the early stages of its development, but we have managed to put up a couple of interesting articles, together with links to other sites, as well as a touching "farewell" to long-time member Cath, and an introductory brief biography of one of our members and resident photographer, Dom. There are also a number of pictures taken by Dom of the group up on the site.
Although the site needs some more work, we believe that already it is giving out a message of hope to others who have experienced long-tern mental illness which has involved symptoms of psychosis. Historically speaking, illnesses involving psychosis, particularly schizophrenia, have had quite poor prognoses. However, as everyone in our group seems to be doing so well, we wanted to show that such illnesses needn't be the "death sentence" they are sometimes considered to be, and that one can recover with the right support and interventions.
Me and another member of the group, Mark, have met with the press officer for North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare, who will be issuing a press release about the site, and we are hoping that it will be publicised in both our local paper, "The Sentinel", and on BBC Radio Stoke. Rather frighteningly, it will be Mark and I who will be going on the radio to give a live interview to publicise our intentions for the site.
So, as we all know by now, "psychosis" is a much misunderstood term (see my blog "psychosis vs. psychopathic- a common misunderstanding") and any accurate information we can get out about such illnesses will surely be a good thing, perhaps alleviating some of the stigma surrounding them. It has to be said, though, that fighting stigma, although part of our intention, is not our main aim for the site. This is reserved for providing hope to those experiencing similar problems. And, when all of our own stories of recovery and hope appear on the site, we certainly believe that it will achieve its aim.
For those of you who want to take a peek at our fledgling site, go to http://www.pathwaygroupstoke.wordpress.com/.


bazza said…
Hi David: Good luck with that. I visited the website and I am sure it will prove to be a wonderful resource for it's users!
Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’
David said…
Thanks bazza.
We are hoping that the site will indeed prove to be of use to many. Mental health staff themselves have said that they would have loved to have read such material when students. So, here's to hope and recovery.
Wishing you all the best,
klahanie said…
Dear David,
This is excellent news that the Pathways Group has now launched its new site.
I hope that the 'message of hope' is a resounding success. I've had a quick look at the site and I've no doubt this will be a valuable resource for all involved and all who visit the site.
P.S. glad to note you have learnt how to put in a link on your blog.
Talk soon and take care.
In kindness, Gary.
David said…
Dear Gary,
Thank you for all that positive feed-back. As I said to bazza, we do hope the site will be of value to many. And, hopefully, with interest from the local media (yikes!) it will reach as many people as possible.
Anyway, I hope you are OK and I shall definitely speak to you soon.
Yours with very best wishes,
Good morning, David! I just came from the new website - I spent quite a long time reading the posts there. I was greatly saddened knowing you had lost a dear friend. Actually, two friends - I was sorry to read that.

I think you are a part of something extraordinary, something wonderful, David. Bless you for the generosity you offer everyone. May success be yours, my friend.

Happy weekend,
David said…
Dear M.,
Thanks for your kind and supportive words. And, yes, it is very sad that we have now lost two members of our group. We all went to Cath's funeral last week, but it is still difficult to imagine that we will not see her again.
On a less sad note, we do hope that our new site will be a beacon of hope to others suffering from illnesses like ours, and it would be nice to think that it is, as you say, "something extraordinary".
Thank you for your interest and with Very Best Wishes,
dcrelief said…
Hi David: I'll be adding the Pathways Group site to my reading list; thank you for the link.

You've done talks before with live audiences and on film; radio might just be easier (grin). I hope you and Mark have sucess without the jitters. May this adventure be blessed.

Though your friends Cath and Matt can never be replaced, keep them in your heart with the memory of their grace.

Many blessings and good thoughts,

David said…
Dear Dixie,
Thanks for all your kind thoughts.
I'll try not to get too jittery about going on the radio. After all, as you say, I have spoken to audiences before, allbeit in a different way.
Also, I'm sure that all of us at the Pathways Group will keep our memories of Cath and Matt in our hearts for a long time to come.
Thanks once again for your kindness.
Wishing you all the best,

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