Robert Branagh, Chair of Equinox Care: “Equinox Care exists to provide support, care and accommodation to people with multiple and complex needs, including mental ill health, drug dependence and alcohol dependence. We also work with people who have a history of homelessness or offending. In 2014, we worked with 1138 people across our services in […]
In 2014, 9 people who have used Equinox Care services during the year came together to create a mental health awareness campaign called ‘Equinox Nine Lives.’ The centrepiece of this campaign was a 13.5 minute audiovisual piece, blending audio interviews, professional photography, motion graphics and moving images.
Equinox Nine Lives combats stigma, celebrates diversity and highlights recovery achievements. The 9 contributors shared memories including:
The 9 participants also related their personal experiences of mental ill health, including how they picture their mind (see David’s video and Zarina’s video as examples), as well as strengths and insights gained in terms of maintaining recovery from schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, personality disorder and depression.
Working with the mental health lead at City Hall, David Beyt, Equinox Nine Lives was screened at City Hall on World Mental Health Day 2014, opened by Deputy Mayor of London Victoria Borwick. Many thanks to former Equinox trustee, Catherine Max, who was instrumental in securing this prestigious venue for our launch and thanks must go to all the brilliant staff at City Hall who organised the event.
Introducing the film at City Hall, two Equinox service users, John and Kathleen, spoke about their experiences with mental ill health and recovery.
Chair of Equinox Board, Robert Branagh, also spoke at the event.
Robert said: “we are thrilled to be taking part in the celebrations of World Mental Health Day 2014 at City Hall. In Equinox Nine Lives, our contributors speak for themselves.”
From 10th October to 31st October, Camden Libraries hosted the Equinox Nine Lives exhibition – a big thank you to Peter Baxter.
Visitors could enjoy the Equinox Nine Lives film and portrait photography in the main entrance of Holborn Library.
Equinox Care workers were on site for eight 2-hour sessions over 3 weeks, speaking to 164 people of all ages and backgrounds. They included Laurie, who commented: “London’s a big metropolis. People can feel swamped here. All the choices we have here can sometimes be overwhelming.”
And Elina, who talked about the importance to her of good nutrition in terms of maintaining good mental health.
On 4th December 2014, GovKnow invited Equinox to participate in their 3rd Annual Mental Health Conference at Coin Street Conference Centre.
Keith and John, representing Equinox Southampton Way and Equinox Lewisham, gave speeches they had prepared for the conference. Feedback from the GovKnow conference team was that the Equinox Nine Lives session ‘was one of the most interesting parts of the day. It made a really valuable contribution.’
In January 2015, Time to Change distributed the Equinox Nine Lives film via their Twitter and Facebook platforms, to their audiences of over one hundred thousand people per platform. Many thanks to Time to Change for their support.
Time to Change said: “Mental health problems affect people from all walks of life. Equinox Care showed us some videos, we like them.”
Twitter user, Jamie, commented: “Anyone can be affected, it’s how we walk with our heads held high…talk, listen and support.”
Twitter user, Fiona, commented: “The best mental health photography I’ve seen in ages.”
Vanessa Doidge, Equinox service user involvement manager: “Equinox Off the Press is a 20 page magazine, which initially focused on covering the topics of mental health, drugs and alcohol. The magazine expanded in the second issue of 2014 to cover news-related features, articles about Equinox Care activities, games and puzzles, recipes and creative work. “The […]
Sharron Erinle, Equinox Aspinden Wood service manager: “Between January and December 2014, 27 people used our service at Equinox Aspinden Wood, where we provide support, care and accommodation to people [...]
In 2014, Equinox Lewisham and Equinox Aspinden Wood service users were involved with a Goldsmiths University of London and Liverpool University research project. Working with The Reader Organisation, this [...]
Tony, Equinox Aspinden Wood: “I represent Equinox Aspinden Wood on the Equinox service user council. I’m like a spokesman for people at my service. A few people have asked me to represent them with [...]
“I also love seeing and talking to my Mum as she always gives me such great support and tells me that she is proud of me and she loves me.
“My life changed in the way that I couldn’t enjoy things anymore. Also I felt as if I was invisible and that no-one saw my struggle.
“My mind would be a swan, calm on the surface but paddling furiously under the surface to keep afloat.
“The most important thing to me is having a team of people ready to listen and support me all the time. Without them I wouldn’t be able to achieve the things I achieve today.
“I am proud of making a full recovery after having a serious breakdown because I really tried my best and I wanted to be well so much that I pushed myself to the limit.”