Santino Vassell is an associate peer recovery trainer at CNWL’s Recovery and Wellbeing College. He teaches a course at the college working with individuals with mental health and learning difficulties and he refers to this as his first real job. Santino is able to offer a unique perspective in the college as he himself has a learning disability as well as a mental health disability.
Santino was first introduced to the Rix Wiki in the summer of 2014 by his friend and Deputy Manager at the college, Amanda Bailey.
“At first I thought it was going to be really hard,” Santino says, “but I’m really enjoying it. The Wiki is simple and straight to the point. It’s interactive and easy to use.”
He attended a two-week Wiki Builder’s course with two of his fellow recovery trainers. Santino enjoys the person-centred structure of the Wiki and says that this makes it easier for people with mental health and learning difficulties to express themselves. He describes a Wiki as a story about you, told by you. “You can put your own pictures, your own writing, and you can even put your favourite songs on it! It’s a fabulous and brilliant tool.”
The Wiki is entirely owned by the user and he or she can choose who else can see the Wiki, and whether they see either the whole Wiki or only a specific section or sections. “I also like that the Wiki is completely private and only the people I want to can see it, so it can be used to communicate with doctors and other professionals,” he adds.
For Santino, the Recovery College has not only given him a new beginning, but a job that he loves and allows him to do what he is most passionate about – helping people. The Wiki is a tool that helps Santino to do his job. “Using my Wiki helps me to express myself to other people. It helps me to encourage and support others. I have a Wiki so that I can help people like myself.”