Welsh Referrals

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Utilising ‘Experts by Experience’


Darren, one of the individuals living at one of Potens’ Mental Health Supported Living Services in Preston, has recently ran a special Addiction Workshop for staff team’s in Lancashire.


Darren, previously lived at Potens ‘outstanding’ rated CQC residential service Mansard House, before stepping down into more independent accommodation at Potens’ supported living flat scheme in Preston last October.


Potens Manager Michelle McColl said, “Prior to joining Potens Darren had been in and out of various types of secure services due to his addiction issues and mental ill health. Now four years clean and sober, Darren is living in his own flat and increasing his independence in all areas of his life.”


Darren ran an Addiction workshop in April for the staff teams in Potens’ mental health services in Preston where he talked about his story and his personal recovery journey.



Michelle adds, “In this short workshop we learnt so much. Darren talked about small things that impact on someone struggling with thoughts of relapse – something we would never have thought of. He also talked about the importance of the right confidential outside support being pivotal in the early days when people are discharged.”


Whilst Darren praised the support and environment at Potens he also told the team things he found difficult on days when he struggled with temptation, which Michelle has taken note of and is using to implement some key changes – an example of co-production at its best.


“We have already agreed some changes in practice and intend to revisit our transition package to ensure we help people link up with the right support at this vulnerable time. We are incredibly proud of Darren. Not only has he turned his own life around but in sharing his personal journey and his knowledge he is helping us to better understand and support others who also struggle with sobriety on their recovery journey.” Michelle concludes.

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