We are speeding towards the end of a year that none of us will ever forget because of the impact of Covid 19 on every area of life and the decisions about giving or receiving support. Also we note the rolling out of the Competence Framework for Mental Health Peer Support Workers. How will 2020 be summarised and remembered? It has been a turning point which no-one could have predicted.

Our collective freedom has been restricted. Regardless of our views about the pandemic, theories abound and there seems to be a distinct pessimism in the atmosphere. The full impact on our mental health is yet to be determined. So we are desperate for some good news like a vaccine, Captain Tom or Marcus Rashford. Who or what has helped you in 2020 and how can we build on it for 2021?

The places we have historically turned too for help and inspiration - politicians, psychologists/psychiatrists and priests (religion) - seemed to have left us wanting and appear themselves are “JAM” just about managing. Many are busy, tired and zoomed/teamed out. Covid has exposed many vulnerabilities but also has created an opportunity to look afresh at issues and reevaluate what is important as individuals and in our various affinity groups. We need new tools for a new age. The need for co-production has never been greater.

The current Government Campaign is “Hands, Face and Space.” Do we need a hand of support and encouragement? If so please ask because you are not alone. Can you give a hand to someone in need? Then do what you can. Face the issues that confront us and others with courage and let’s take action and find the best solutions. Invite people into our space that is emotionally, intellectually, spiritually - let us respect the invitation and work to build each other up.

What does the future look like? I don’t know but I remain hopeful. There are a wealth of resources on the website to help us including many good news stories. Together, we can develop new pathways to and for lasting meaningful support improving the lot of many. In the words of the musketeers “All for one and one for all.” Let us support each other and bring our collective talents, energies and stories together in a concerned effort in 2021 to strengthen this network and its influence.

Are you game for the new adventure?

17th November 2020