Experts by Experience

Bristol Wellbeing Cafe

Welcome to The Being Well Bristol blog, a place that brings together the stories and ideas of those who have been living with mental illness, or who have been working and volunteering in the sector in the Bristol area. Increasingly, the three overlap, which is why we join the NHS-led ‘experts by experience’ movement.

Currently, our stories are contributed by those local to Bristol and who have engaged with The Bristol Wellbeing College, a service that provides free wellbeing courses and workshops to those accessing mental health care in Bristol. The College covers a wide range of topics, from Managing Depression to Confidence Building to Writing for Wellbeing.

With this blog, we want to celebrate the creativity and expression that springs from the experience of mental unwellness. Here, we share the best of Bristol Wellbeing College with poetry, prose, images and small pearls of wisdom contributed by learners, volunteers and staff. We want to widen the reach of their creations in the hope of motivating, inspiring and connecting others going through similar experiences. Combined, our stories offer a deep well of knowledge from which we can all draw inspiration and hope, no matter where in the world we are.

If you would like to contribute, please email your piece to

Established in 2016 as part of Second Step mental health charity, the Bristol Wellbeing College has delivered hundreds of courses on improving and sustaining mental and emotional wellbeing to those in recovery from mental illness. Over 1000 learners have accessed the College, along with dozens of dedicated volunteers, bringing with them their skills, humour and life experience.

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