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Rachel Stelmach

Contact details:
• phone: 01570493356/ 07799884835
• e-mail: rachel@dacymru.com
• web: www.disabilityartscymru.co.uk
• region: All of Wales

Qualifications: BA Fine Art, Level 4 NVQ and ILM in Management, Adult MHFA instructor

Background: My personal experience of the Mental Health system is that it proved incapable of working out that I had Asperger’s Syndrome and any mental ill health I had experienced was actually secondary to that. I have seen the inside of a ward several times but never received any therapy or medication that made any difference to my life. I have a close friend with Bi-Polar Disorder Type 1 and I have supported her through some very intense mania requiring hospitalisation and also some extreme deep depressions so I have looked into the face of psychosis and understand what a scary state it is for the person experiencing it.

Current and Previous Work Experience:
I’m a Fine Art graduate who discovered design and early Macs in 1988. After college I did magazine layout work until my incompatibility with office life became apparent and I went freelance, got involved with The Young Unknowns Gallery and started an agency. Then a doctor did a stupid thing and wasted 5 years of my life while my right hand was removed bit by bit. By then I had quit London for Wales and have since worked for several 3rd sector organisations, during which time I became a Disability Equality Trainer, studied for Level 4 Qualifications in Management and did Web and Graphic design during and in-between other jobs.

I am currently working at Disability Arts Cymru as their West Wales Officer covering Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. I do MHFA as part of this as well as other training work. I really enjoy training and love to see people change how they think and learn to apply what I’m teaching them.

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