I live in the county of Warwickshire in a small town called Kenilworth. An idyllic place to reside, with access to miles of countryside and of course the famous castle ruins.

Author/Blogger/Mental Health Advocate/Dog lover/Dog & Tortoise owner

Mission – to empower, educate and fight the stigma associated with mental health.

Pronouns (her/she)

Email jenniferdodd.thewriteway@outlook.com

If you are in distress and need someone to talk to please reach out.

The Samaritans http://www.samaritans.org phone 116 123

MIND http://www.mind.org.uk phone 03001233393

Mental Health Matters http://www.mhm.org.uk

Hi, I’m Jennifer…

Welcome to my blog.

The write way to good emotional health!

I will admit I am a novice at the whole blog writing thing. In typical “Jen style” I’m a little late to the party. Still, those who are first to arrive often leave early too; so despite my tardiness I promise to be the life and soul of this shindig! You may be wondering why I have decided to jump on the blogging bandwagon now. So, lets dive in!

I was diagnosed with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease at the age of 12, after which life quickly unravelled. The years of treatment and surgery that followed were, to say the least, devastating. Unfortunately, other than being handed a leaflet of relaxation exercises, I was not offered any mental health support. It is difficult to ascertain why and entirely possible I simply slipped through the net. So it was a case of “just getting on with things,” a task I had neither the emotional capacity or maturity to manage. The lack of emotional support inevitably had consequences. My adult life has been tainted by severe mental health problems. While I am grateful to be alive, there have been many times (and may be many more) when this was not the case.

So………mental health.

It gives me “the feeling.” You know the one? When something is so fascinating it draws you in and takes over. Learning about it, talking about it never gets old, even on the days my brain is fit to burst. My work as a Well-Being Practitioner, coupled with my own personal therapy has changed me in ways I didn’t know possible. Ironically, the very focus of my pain and grief now feeds my soul. It’s pure fascination, an insatiable urge to know more. That’s “the feeling,” and I want to share it.

Working in mental health is grounding. The human condition means that no one is immune. If you haven’t been personally affected, then I have no doubt that you know someone who has. Mental health services in the UK are stretched beyond breaking point. The net I slipped through as a child is now riddled with holes; so getting appropriate support when in crisis is exceedingly difficult, if not virtually impossible.

I have created this public blog simply because mental health cannot be overdone. Everyone’s experiences are unique and should always be taken seriously. Great strides have been made in getting people talking and removing the stigma. We need to keep up the momentum, now more than ever.

So what can you expect from this blog?

  • A safe, non-judgemental and informative space.
  • Although (hopefully) uplifting, inspiring and motivational, it will also be realistic. Sometimes, life is bloody hard. It is expected and OK to have bad days and difficult emotions. This is where self-compassion comes in!
  • To emphasize how much value we all have as individuals. Everyone deserves to feel heard, valued and included. To this end, I welcome comments and suggestions. Please feel free to use the provided comment box or reach out via email. I just ask you are respectful of differing views/ideas.
  • Humour – we all know the adage ‘if I don’t laugh, I’ll cry! A good bout of either is a fabulous release of oxytocin and endorphins.
  • Signposting to resources – this is a biggie! There is a wealth of untapped resources and online support out there. This blog aims to highlight as many of these as possible. Anything from simple breathing exercises to peer reviewed research is potential blog fodder!
  • Finally I will share my own experiences/helpful tips. This blog certainly isn’t an altruistic endeavour. Writing is my armour, my relief. It distracts my brain and is my go-to when things are rough. I will share my published writing here and there, but my focus is primarily to share information and avenues of support.

Employment & Academic Background

  • Well-Being Practitioner – Springfield Mind
  • Clinical Trials Coordinator – The University of Warwick
  • Team Leader at Godiva Lodge Specialist Dementia Unit
  • BSc Health Studies (First Class) – Coventry University
  • Certificate of HE (Adult Nursing) – Coventry University
  • CPD – Adult Safeguarding
  • CPD – Suicide Prevention
  • CPD – Mindfulness
  • CPD – Level 2 Understanding Autism
  • CPD – Adult Mental Health First Aid

Disclaimer – nothing written in this blog is intended as an alternative to medical advice/intervention. It is simply an expression of things I have found personally helpful. Please seek help from a licensed medical professional if you feel you may have/or are diagnosed with a mental health condition that requires treatment.