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Crystal Owl

This crystal owl represents the small stuff... listening, being heard, consistency, trust, and why it has a big impact.


“When I started working in mental health it was by accident, and I felt I knew nothing.”

This crystal owl is nothing special to look at – it is one of perhaps millions produced as small ornaments, as gifts. It was given to me as a present – a thank you for support and advice to help sort out a claim for benefits. It was one of many small gifts over the years – chocolates, cards, flowers – the only surviving one.

When I started working in mental health it was by accident, and I felt I knew nothing. I was on an inpatient unit surrounded by need and often distress and I didn’t have a clue. I guessed that listening, showing respect and building trust would be a good start and as it turned out it was and it worked. I learned a lot from the people who knew the most and we built mutual respect, which led to not only successful access to legal entitlements but also a sharing of knowledge. I learnt about the huge impact of the small stuff, the seemingly easy to do stuff but within a big system, it was the stuff that didn’t always happen – listening, being heard, consistency, trust.

When I came to HARP – it was what I found – an insistence that we didn’t rush people through and there were opportunities to move at people’s pace. This owl to me represents that mutual appreciation – the power of acknowledgement, which was as important for me as it was to the people I was working with.


Manchester Mind is still here for anyone who is struggling with their mental health, but now we need your support…

We have recently launched our Covid19 emergency food response appeal.

We are hoping to raise £10,000 so we can buy staple ingredients and equipment to provide over 1600 meals per week to those experiencing severe food poverty.

Every donation will help make a real difference to the most vulnerable people in Manchester.

Find out how you can get involved.