Here are just a few of the testimonials we have received from mental health professionals, charities, employers, pharmacists and members of the public who have benefited from the training

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

Working together for Outstanding Care‘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  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.’

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

Mental health educational tools‘Choices Anxiety  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.’

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

Mental health educational tools_ well designed‘I attended the ‘UK Choices’ Anxiety 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.’

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

Mental health educational tools‘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.’

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

Marie Curie Carer Educational game

Marie Curie Wales

‘Working 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.’

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

Some other amazing testimonials

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.

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

I am writing in support of the work that Jocelyn Duncan and Dennis Laity are doing. I have known Jocelyn and Dennis for almost 5 years as their community pharmacist and have followed the development of their programme and products with interest. As a community pharmacist I come into contact with people with a number of illnesses on a daily basis and it is my belief that mental health is a very challenging area of medicine that is both poorly understood and poorly represented. Although medicine undoubtedly have a place in the treatment of mental illness they are not perfect and many people find that either medication is not adequate or comes with side effects that are almost as detrimental to a patient’s quality of life.

After a kind invitation from Jocelyn and Dennis I attended one of the workshops (the last one in a series of three on depression after an initial workshop) that they are providing in the Caerphilly area, to see exactly what it was all about and how everything worked with real people. I spoke to a couple of these people to find out exactly what they thought of the course and the support that was offered. The people I spoke to told me about the difference they had seen in themselves following attending the workshops and what they thought of the course. Both of them said that what they had learned had allowed them to do things that they could never have dreamed of before, even following years of medical treatment. I asked what they thought the best parts were and they both replied that it was great to meet other people with the condition that they had and they found the empathy that Jocelyn and Dennis could show them was a huge benefit to their self esteem. They also explained that the boards that were provided during and after the workshops meant that they had a point of reference that they could work with and also a format when discussing the information with loved ones at home.

I then sat in on the workshop and observed what it entailed. The workshop ran informally and the people I sat next to appeared to not have spoken to each other much in the past, however after a few minutes they were openly discussing their feelings and their condition and where they thought they were in response to a board that they were given that prompted different discussion points and opened a dialogue between them. Most of the people at the workshop seemed to truly find the information they were given helpful and it was delivered in a way that was accessible to them.

I truly believe that the workshops and learning system that Jocelyn and Dennis are running has potential to help a great number of people with mental health issues as they are produced by people who have learned from their own experiences what works to help control a condition and also through constant development following feedback and self appraisal.

I would like to support the work that Jocelyn and Dennis are doing as I feel that it will be of benefit to a great number of people. The support that they are already offering to people is fantastic to see and I would truly like to see it rolled out to more people.

MR PharmS – Caerphilly

We’ve only met the once but you really have changed our lives.
My son is autistic with all the usual anxiety, fear , frustration and days when he was just quietly overwhelmed. He was almost reclusive with few friends & no confidence.

Using the tools you and Jocelyn gave him, he is a different person. He will tell you he can control his anxiety and he is in charge of his life. I cried when I watched him get up & sing in the pub on the karaoke. Mad but for me it told a story. He would never have done it, not ever without your help.

I’ve been poorly lately too and I’ve used the same tools (in a slightly different way) to see me through the very dark days when I wanted to give up the battle.

When we started it seemed so simple that I didn’t think it would work but it did .. it still does!!

Working through this plan works, all you need to do is believe it. It takes a little time and a little perseverance but I can’t tell you in words how much difference it has made to our lives – THANK YOU, BOTH OF YOU. You were a Godsend.

Lesley Stafford

‘I care… do you?’ Educational Game

This specialised resource helps us understand some of the differences between those who have caring responsibilities and those who don’t. Approaching a sensitive subject in an engaging way helps us see how caring presents challenges that non carers maybe unaware of, and this helps to highlight the challenges carers face.

It is a great way of talking about caring without directly probing into someone’s life, and this therefore could be a great way of building a relationship with carer’s, or helping others to see that: I care… do you?

Derbyshire Young Carers

Powerful testimonials from workshop session participants…

Informative, participative, interesting – great materials to take away and use.

Understanding more about what Anxiety is will help me to admit that there is a problem and by learning and implementing the techniques will allow me to deal with the condition better and feel more positive on a daily basis.

Brilliant.  Lots of really simple thinks to think about and put into practice. I will start using this straight away.  All really positive stuff.  Thank you.

Relaxed and informative, felt like a safe space to explore the subject.  Knowledge gained will definitely help me to understand anxiety and others better.

The session was powerful in giving tools to take back control and power.

It will help me manage my anxiety at work and help me cope with feelings. I am hopeful that I can teach my children some techniques to stop them squabbling. Thanks.

It was fascinating, especially being delivered by people with real personal experiences. My understanding and empathy for others has definitely increased. Thank you.

I enjoyed the session and hopefully using what I’ve learned today I can in some way help my 15-year-old daughter which is the reason I attended.  Fingers Crossed.

Opening channels of communication is vitally important as it takes away a barrier that many who live with anxiety feel is there That in itself eases pressure and is one less thing to worry about.

Preventing arguments – help others to deal with anxiety.

Greater understanding of how to communicate with people suffering with anxiety.

‘Egg Timer’ will definitely be used at home.

This will help my son, husband and subsequently me. Thank you.

The course has helped me to understand anxiety. Learning differences between conscious and unconscious and provides me with the tools that I can use with family who suffer from anxiety.