Guidelines for submitting your own recovery story

We hope you find the following recovery stories helpful.

Would you like to contribute your Recovery story to our website?

We welcome people sharing their personal Recovery stories with us, however we also recognise this is an emotive and personal process and we would like to help you think about why you wish to share you Recovery story, what we are looking for when we publish recovery stories on our website, and some tips and advice to help you if you would like to contribute.

Why write a Recovery story?

Why share your personal experiences with others? Hampshire Lanterns welcome sharing of Recovery stories .We have found that stories help to give hope to others by reading stories from people who have been on their own recovery journeys. This in turn promotes recovery.  They can inspire hope that Recovery is possible no matter what. It can also help you reflect on your journey when writing your story.

In order to assist you in deciding whether or not to share your story we have provided the following considerations based on our experiences.

Here are some things to think about before submitting your story:

• What are you trying to achieve in sharing your story?

• Who are you trying to reach? What is your desired audience?

• Who can you work with – organisations or individuals – who will share your aims and enable you to reach your desired audience? (for example have you shared you story first with family/friends, a mental health professional, have you considered more formal training such as attendance at the Recovery college, they offer training courses on developing your Recovery story, these are free and across Hampshire – please see http://www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/health-and-wellbeing/recovery/college/ download the prospectus to see details of the course on writing a recovery story)

Maintaining wellbeing:

Sharing personal experiences can evoke both positive and negative emotions. It is important to keep your wellbeing in mind throughout writing your story.

Anonymity: Sharing your story does not automatically require you to use your real name. You can use an alias or pseudonym and perhaps refrain from giving identifiable information in order to protect your identity and the identity of others featured in your story. We recommend not using the real names of family members unless they have explicitly given their consent.

Timings and delaying publishing: Stories reflect your thoughts and feelings at a specific time in your life. Keep this in mind story when writing your story. Some might say Recovery has no end, how you feel at different points in your Recovery Journey will change. Writing your story early on in your journey might be helpful to you, but we need to consider how it might affect others reading this website. If we feel that the content does not fit our aims of sharing a recovery story, we might hold back from publishing on the website. Remember once it is on the web it is out there for all to see. If we don’t publish we will always feedback and explore how you might get support in developing your story further (see above in who you can work with section e.g. Recovery college)

Consent: We ask for you to gain consent from other people you identify in your story to ensure they are fully aware of the context and to protect their identity. By submitting your story you are consenting for it to be published on the website and understand that even if you wanted it removing from the website at a later date that it may still be accessible on the world wide web due to “caching” of websites in general. You must gain consent from any persons you identify within your story and by submitting your story to Hampshire Lanterns you are confirming that you have done this.