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Someone To Talk To

I had a real bad patch with my mental health, not January just gone, January the year before. Life felt negative to me constantly and I needed to get help. But then when you tried to get the help they said, 'oh no we can't help you' or' there's a long waiting list'. Then I just felt like, well what's the point of carrying on with things? ‘I can't be bothered to ask for help anymore because no one's gonna help me'. I was struggling to keep going.

It got quite severe and Safe Haven, who were supporting me at the time, they said there was gonna be programmes starting up with Elmore. They knew I was really, really struggling and they felt that it would benefit me to get some support and help while I was waiting for other services. It was nice that they chose me to go on the programme.

Since then, Elmore has been really helpful. Like, there were certain doctor's appointments that I hadn't gone to for years because I was frightened of going. But, I eventually plucked up the courage to do it with the help of the Elmore staff. They took me to the doctors and came in with me and made sure that I was fine. And it helped because they got everything prepared beforehand, like they spoke to the doctors about what I was fearing and how I felt and what I needed. Every time I booked appointments, I kept getting anxiety about going to them. I’ve cancelled 'em and cancelled 'em and cancelled 'em. Having someone there to walk in with me, it made me, I dunno if it was more determined, but I felt like I didn’t have to just run away. I had someone facing it with me.

A support worker helped me with changing my name. We sorted it out on the laptop and did it online. That was another step that I didn't think I'd get done. I feel that the name change has helped. I feel really happy because I feel like I can be myself now.

I also have help with budgeting. I've been living with my parents and I haven't spent as much money as I normally would but I felt like I had nothing to show for it. I just felt like my money was being wasted. So in the end I got some help with budgeting, like being able to put a bit away each month and cancelling things that I didn't need. So that helped.

I don't necessarily always talk to my parents about everything that goes on because they are supportive in certain situations, but not all. I suppose my support worker understands a bit more about things. She was able to guide me in the right direction, and she’d say ‘maybe we could ring this place up and get some help from here?’. So that helped, knowing that I had someone that could find places to get support and help when I needed it. It's been good because I felt like if I was struggling we'd have a little chat and run through what was going on in my head. They’d also always say, 'if I'm not there someone else will chat to you, so don't feel you can't talk.' That was a positive. Sometimes I worry, do people want to listen to what's going on? I can shut myself away. So it was good to be reminded that you can come and talk to somebody.

Overall, the team are very supportive, very helpful. I've found 'em really good. The other day somebody was talking about Elmore - they haven't used it and I was just sitting there telling them how great Elmore was. And then they turned around to me and said, ‘it's good to hear that from someone that's actually used it - and in a positive way’. I explained that it's good because you can put a plan in place, you can work out what help you need and what you need to sort out. And then you get to see the person regularly, or they're only a phone call away if you're not sure of something.

I've managed to get into the Recovery College. They've got a few arts and crafts things that I'm gonna join in with and then there's just a few other mental health type things that I looked at. Some are online in the evening. Some are face to face. But I'm fine doing that. I feel like I'm a lot better now. I used to struggle going with people I didn't know but in the last few months I'm a little bit more open to actually talking to people. I think having that support worker there gave me the oomph to do what I need to do.

I suppose Elmore’s helped me move on to different things. Things that I didn't think I would be able to do I’m managing. I want to go back into work eventually, once I'm ready. I'm trying to get support with Complex Needs, and then I can see after that what I'm able to do. I'm turning myself around.

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