Jeffrey had a son who suffered from from a mental health condition. In this YouTube video he and his wife share their experiences and encourage professionals in supporting carers needs. Jeffrey’s personal experiences are strong motivators for him to seek change and to empathise with carers needs.
He is a member of the Barnet Mental Health Partnership Board; Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust; Trustwide Medical Education Committee; Barnet Carers Strategy Group. He is also involved in the mandatory education for psychiatric trainee doctors and general practitioners(GPs) to receive training directly from people who experience mental health problems and their carers.
Having made contact with the National Alliance of Mentally Ill in the US and visiting their offices in Washington, Jeffrey Breslaw identified common areas of carers’ concerns, guilt, stigma, assessing help from professional, bureaucratic systems, and lack of knowledge with regard to severe mental illness and its causes.
He contacted Sheila Legacy who is the technical director of Transitional Living Services in Syracuse, New York State USA. She runs courses called Supportive Family Training for families caring for a person with mental health problems. He has since attended a trainer’s course for Supportive Family Training in Canada.
Using all this knowledge Jeffrey Breslaw has run one Supportive Family course for Jewish Care, one for Camden Mental Health Trust and eighteen for Barnet Mental Health Partnership Board.
He has as his co-leader Suzanne Clinton-Davis, an occupational therapist with an extensive knowledge of mental health. They have become an excellent team, improving the course in content and presentation.
Suzanne Clinton Davis
Qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1987, Suzanne has held a variety of clinical posts in acute, day therapy and community settings.
In 1986 she went into private practise to continue clinical work outsourced by the NHS, work with the voluntary sector and establish a training practise.
In 2002 Suzanne was introduced to Jeffrey Breslaw to co-facilitate their first Family Supportive Education course. This has grown and they now run 11-week evening courses and four one-day weekday courses regularly in Barnet.
In January 2008 Suzanne was awarded the Star Wards Project Manager post for Barnet (Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust) and worked with the 2 acute wards and 1 Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
In 2012 Suzanne returned part time to the NHS to develop an exciting and new Employment Specialist post working within a community rehabilitation team. Drawing on over 25 years experience of working within the mental health sector, she is working exclusively with people who have experienced ill health for a number of years and is supporting them to find and maintain paid employment.