Alannah likes to sweat it out in the gym, do a bit of ballet, and ride horses to stay mentally healthy, as she says the sense of achievement enables her to feel happy and positive after these activities. However, some quiet time with a book and some crochet are also important.

Alannah came to us during a time, that for her she felt she was at her worst mentally, experiencing depression and anxiety. She felt that as a user run organisation, we might understand what she was going through and give her a chance, which we did! Willingly! 5 years later and she is still with us, now as an advocate.

Like many people at Vital, being able to help people make sense of their concerns and support them in having their issues addressed drives her to come to work along with working alongside like-minded and supportive people that understand mental health. Her vision is that mental health will be acknowledged as something that affects the majority of us rather than a few and NHS organisations will understand how advocacy can be a positive and beneficial service in helping them deal with patients complaints.

For all Alannah’s activities, she balances this with a healthy biscuit habit, and could probably do a packet of custard creams in one sitting.