This edition features several articles which highlight the importance of community and demonstrate how where we live, who we spend time with and what we do together have an immense impact on our mental health and wellbeing. Steve M. writes about the positive effect of moving from an environment which he found insecure and threatening to a quiet area with friendly neighbours where he felt able to relax and develop his interests in music and IT. Steve also describes how he has benefitted from the support of peers at Mental Health Action Group Sheffield. The value of this long-standing user run day centre is further explored in 'What Mental Health Action Group Sheffield means to me', in which the author praises the group for providing a calm, peaceful and non-judgemental environment where you can enjoy continued social contact with like-minded people.
Sheffield Winter Garden has provided a valuable community resource since it opened in 2003. It regularly houses mental health themed exhibitions and activities and we feature two recent examples; 'Bridges not Barriers', which is the 8th annual CAST arts exhibition, and 'Home', a collaboration between Adullam Homes Housing Association and the community arts group Ignite Imagination (formerly Art in the Park). For CAST member and long-time Your Voice associate Rose Murphy, an installation at the CAST exhibition based around the stories of ordinary Sheffield people “...encapsulates what a wonderful city we are living in and how the people living here hold it truly in their hearts.” Georgina Haupt left the 'Home' exhibition with the positive message that we don't need to spend lots of money to make our homes happy and comfortable places, despite the constant stream of media messages that try to persuade us otherwise.