We are an organisation that is rooted in social justice.
We know that people who experience mental ill health, trauma and emotional distress are often unfairly disadvantaged in our society. Everyone needs somewhere to live, someone to love and something to do and these essential factors can be hard to achieve for some people.
We also know that there are many determinants in our lives which influence our mental health and wellbeing. Whether or not we receive positive parenting, have a safe place to live, experience abuse, oppression, or discrimination, or if we live in poverty, or have poor living or working conditions, all of these things can have an impact on our mental health and wellbeing and the course of our lives and our opportunities. Determinants of mental health interacting with inequalities in our society put some people at a far greater risk of poor mental health than others.
At the Forum, we choose not to be defined by our experiences or mental ill health diagnoses. We believe that everyone has an equal right to enjoy all of the opportunities that life provides and that the bar for what we should expect from our lives, our aspirations and those of people around us, should be set high. Everyone has a right to a meaningful life, as defined by them and we think this is an essential part of a person’s Recovery journey.
Activism, by way of creating experiences of meaning and bringing about social change, is core to our work. We walk and work proudly alongside statutory services and within our communities, modelling what is possible, promoting wellbeing and Recovery, challenging prejudice and stigma and transforming people’s understanding of mental health.
In practical terms, we do this through:
- Recovery Education
- Lived experience roles being valued and working equally alongside professional, technical, and learned expertise to bring about change and new ways of working within services.
- Advocating as an organisation and providing personal Advocacy for individuals who need help in having their voice heard.
- Challenging discrimination and health inequalities at every turn.
- Amplifying people’s stories and working with communities in Dorset to increase understanding around mental health, remove barriers and create equitable opportunities for everyone.
We believe that mental health is everyone’s business and that in a world that understands mental health, no one should be left behind.
We are committed to playing our part in bringing about long term, sustainable social change within Dorset.