Here are just a few of the testimonials we have received from health bodies, charities, pharmacists and members of the public who have benefitted from our workshops

Sarah Taylor-Robinson, Practice Facilitator, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

I would like to thank you for bringing your amazing workshop and resources to Worcestershire. We really appreciate the time you gave us not only in the sessions but all the travelling that was involved.

All seven of the group benefited personally from the sessions as well as going away knowing that the resources and tools will be invaluable to the service users they support in their roles within mental health services.

There is no doubt that most people would benefit from the anxiety and depression workshop and it will certainly enable people and their families to feel more in control of the conditions.

Co-production is an initiative in this Trust, empowering and enabling people who access our services is core to changing the way we work. Your training potentially will be invaluable in assisting us to make this transition from one of doing to people to one of working in true partnership.

Joy, Mental Health Team Leader, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

Choices Anxiety and Depression training, although apparently simplistic, contains brilliant straightforward ideas to change people’s lives. Although I am only just starting to use the materials with patients within the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the patients’ response is very positive to the four tools, board games and other content, they feel they’ve learnt something useful to them, and I will continue to use it with much benefit in the future.

I found the training interesting and thought provoking and the anecdotal evidence provided by the trainers on how it has changed people’s lives inspiring. I wait to learn what difference it will make to my family.

Alex, Community Reablement Assistant, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

I attended the ‘UK Choices’ Anxiety & Depression Course and found it to be interesting and thought provoking. I joined the course as a professional so worked through the information in a slightly different way than learners usually do. I feel the course could be very useful to people who may be struggling with the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

From the onset, we as learners were reminded of our responsibility in the learning process. I found this to be motivating and felt that it was a useful reminder. The training was informative and I imagine most people could be reminded of and would learn new information through attending. I felt that the construction of the learning materials were well designed and compliment the teaching of the course. The course was structured in a repetitive way so the techniques we learned we embedded into the outcome each session.

The four techniques that we were taught were useful, cost free and transferrable and I felt that having a few resources that can easily be applied would be very helpful to support a person in their daily lives. I am not experiencing the symptoms of anxiety or depression so I didn’t feel I had the same frequency of opportunity to practice every technique as a service user would; nevertheless I did complete the homework each week and found that writing the affirmations and reviewing the sessions were a very helpful aid in terms of cementing the learned work.

Much of each session was very interactive and I think this in itself is a valuable part of the recovery process. The way the course enables learners to form their own support and friendship networks are a very useful outcome.
Overall I value the experience I had learning on the course. I feel that the course offers an individual a useful set of techniques which they can use to support their recovery.

Mark, Mental Health Team Leader, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

The course was very good from the way it was delivered to the information given to us. The techniques are easy to use and the boards have a way of making you think of things in a different way. I am looking to use this on the ward with as many people as I can.

Susan Court, Project Manager, Marie Curie Wales Caring for Carers Project

3Working with the Choices Education team, we were able to identify the real benefit of using the ‘I care… do you?’ game to raise awareness about the challenges facing young carers with young people in schools.

Our project has allowed us to provide the games free of charge to schools in Wales  and to date we have been able to raise the awareness of over 120 young people drawn from Year 8 and Year 9 in schools in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen working in both the English and Welsh medium.

Andrea, Training & Development Facilitator Mental Health Matters, Wales.

4I am writing this testimonial in support of the work that Choices are doing and the positive impact it is having on people’s lives.

I have worked in Mental Health Services in various roles for the last 10 years and currently I am the Training Development Facilitator for Mental Health Matters Wales.

My Colleague and I Kim Roberts from MHM Wales met with Choices for a taster session to introduce their training. After observing this session and from taking part in activities offered, I have to say that I am very enthusiastic about delivering the workshops myself and very keen to tell everyone about the experience.

From the outset of the session people were fully engaged and included. It became quickly apparent to me that Choices offers people autonomy over their own learning and experiences.

With the use of infographic boards and activity packs, all learning styles are considered. This course is extremely clever in its design, where people are put at ease from the start and it is very confidence building.

I would describe this course as assisting people from all walks of life with the ability to learn how to think and not what they have been told what to think. I really believe that these workshops and sessions can help people experiencing mental health conditions gain the tools necessary to make their own decisions and develop coping mechanisms to help them in their everyday life.

I would strongly advocate that all working in mental health services become aware of this course and tell people of the benefits.

Powerful testimonials from course participants…

Jodie

I attended the 1 hour anxiety awareness session held at my University. This 1 hour gave me so much understanding of anxiety in a short time. Dennis and Joselyn were so informative, understanding and engaged with the whole class. They provide a service that no GP seems to provide; real empathy for mental illnesses. The tools are very cleverly made; simple but communicate a deep understanding of anxiety. The taster session has made me feel that I want more, and it has given me confidence that anxiety is an illness not a personality trait, and it can be repaired. I will be back in touch with Choice Education and will remember what I learned from that session for years to come.

Andrea

I signed up to the anxiety and depression course with the aim to better understand what causes anxiety and learn coping tools for the condition. I believed the material supplied during the course would be useful to explain to others what anxiety and depression is all about.

Before I started the course I had feelings of guilt for making life difficult for my family. I very quickly learnt anxiety is something everybody experiences to one degree or another. Its how you deal with it that matters. Previously, through no fault of my own my anxiety got out of control. Now I understand what causes anxiety I’m able to control my negative thoughts. The coping tools I learnt on this course reinforced my positive thinking.

I found the course was delivered in relaxed, supportive manner and I was never made to feel I had to talk about any of my difficult experiences. However, the course was interactive and during the workshops I found it beneficial discussing the content on the boards with others who had experienced anxiety and depression.

During the first session it was explained to us what anxiety is and what causes depression.

In the second session we worked through the conscious and unconscious mind which revealed some very useful facts. This really helped me get to grips with some of the negative thoughts I’d experienced.

The final session covered triggers and warning signs. This awareness can help you prepare for difficult situations preventing anxiety creeping back.

Since completing the course I generally feel more relaxed with everything. The coping tools help me maintain a positive outlook which means I’m happier and so are the people around me!

The course would be a huge benefit to a range of people and it would be ideal if it could be offered by local health boards to patients identified with anxiety. It could help many onto their journey of recovery in a short time.

Andrea

Sarah

I initially was drawn to this course as an intervention that could help my brother and also service users I support.  I have explored many avenues of belief and practice to do with mind work and have in time found the tools I personally have needed to manage and develop mo own wellbeing.

I identified quite quickly the value that this course had and also the realisation that if I had found this many years ago, it would‘ve made made a huge difference to me.  Even so, with all that I have learnt so far, I still recognised that I have areas to keep a check on and that is as a direct result of attending this course.  The content is appropriate, easily digested and is delivered with conviction.

The environment feels safe, which is paramount to allow people to expose aspects to their personality that they otherwise hide.  My hope is that in time I can use the material to support others. The material is appealing and user friendly, I especially was blown away by scientific and information discussed.  This kind of information delivered and understood by people would alleviate the need for people to struggle with aspects of their mental health.  I could see areas of the health service improve economically by reducing the need for drugs if this course was utilised. I hope to see this happen soon.

After doing a piece of homework on affirmations the power of this exercise resonated with me when attending a promotional interview, I felt calm, confident and composed, I feel this was as a direct result of practicing this activity.

Powerful Stuff!!

Sarah

Joan - Llantrisant

This course dramatically improved the atmosphere in the home as all my family now appreciate my condition and work with me to manage it better. The folder of information I took away from the course not only helped me but enabled my family to get accurate information.  This in turn helped them to help me.

Emma - Cardiff

On the morning before the first workshop I was terrified but a little while after I got there and conversations started and people were opening up about their own experiences I realised I wasn’t alone and the anxiety could be overcome – what a revelation!

Helen - University of Wales, Newport

The awareness session held at the University using the anxiety pack was amazing. It took things right back to basics and simplified anxiety. Good for people to start to understand anxiety

Becky - Hafan Cymru

I really like how the anxiety pack does not try to personalise the experience of anxiety but looks at what it is and possible triggers.  Allows for this to be used with a varied audience of all ages.

Rosalyn - Hafan Cymru

The anxiety pack is very simple and straightforward which gives all the key messages in a short amount of time. Very useful in a time limited working environment.

Sue - Bridgend CBC

Using the anxiety pack would provide a creative way to deliver information which I constantly try to deliver in a less interesting ways.

Gemma - Bridgend CBC

We work with family membership group settings and on a 1 – 1 basis and I think the anxiety packs would be really useful to use with both. We have families who sometimes struggle with learning materials but this is very simple and straightforward

Lisa - Bridgend CBC

I can use this anxiety pack at home and in work. It’s very easy to use, doesn’t take much time to deliver and is easy to understand. They could be used with young people,families etc.

Kim - Crown Prosecution Service

The pack is easy to use for both individuals and to train others. The pack provides a toolkit to help others – an excellent resource for trainers or for self help

Martin - Aneurin Bevan Health Board

These anxiety packs are a brilliant and relevant resource. Using these packs would save the NHS so much money and help more people live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives

Rachel - Neath Port Talbot CBC

The anxiety pack is nice and simple resource – Especially for 1 to 1 use