Steve Gilbert, patient

Steve Gilbert@NHS from 20/11/17 to 25/11/17  

Twitter: @stevegilbertmh

Condition: Bipolar Disorder and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Role: Serious Mental Illness – Living Experience Consultant (West Midlands)

I have extensive personal experiences of mental illness, including periods of depression, suicide attempts, and hospitalisation. I have a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and Complex PTSD – the result of psychological abuse in my early years through to adulthood.

I co-produced an Engagement Model as part of a Time To Change programme that aimed to improve outcomes for young African Caribbean men with mental health problems who come into contact with statutory mental health services and the police.

I am the regional Service User Representative for the Royal College of Psychiatry and member of the West Midlands Executive Committee. I also sat on Mind’s Peer Support Advisory Panel, advising on the direction of Mind’s ‘Side by Side’ programme.

In November 2015, I was appointed to the West Midlands Combined Authority Mental Health Commission as a Serious Mental Illness – Living Experience Consultant to ensure that the interests of people affected by poor mental health were kept at the heart of the work. I led the key line of enquiry for people who enter the criminal justice system, and those with complex and multiple needs. I contributed to the final report and action plan, Thrive West Midlands.

As part of the Thrive WM implementation plan, I am programme lead for a Through-The-Gate psychological intervention, for prisoner leavers with common mental health problems at HMP Featherstone in Wolverhampton; this is based on the Engager Intervention model.

My past media work includes speaking at events and filming for Rethink Mental Illness, Public Health England, Big Lottery Fund, Mind and Time to Change. I was awarded the 2015 ‘Janey Antoniou Award’, from Rethink Mental Illness, in recognition of my work to raise awareness of mental illness, and to improve how people with mental illness are treated. In 2016 I was a finalist for the ‘Royal College of Psychiatry Service User of Year’ award.

I’ve recently been elected as a Trustee for Mind (National), in addition I have also been appointed as a Vice Chair for the Independent Mental Health Act Review being led by Sir Simon Wessely.