The case studies below tell the stories of people across the region who want to share their inspiring stories of managing mental illness in order to help others.
Click on the links to jump to the corresponding case study.
Andrew – Time to Talk
Thirty-seven-year-old Andrew Wild would like to inspire people to talk about mental health, to help people understand they are not alone. Andrew experienced low mood and decided to enrol on a MyWellbeing College course and has never looked back, crediting the course with helping him get his mental health back on track. The course helped Andrew to recognise the importance of talking, not only to trained professionals available through the service, but also to friends.
Paul – Mood Matters
Forty seven year old Paul Lonsdale experienced low mood and anxiety following work related stress from a demanding career. Recognising the signs, Paul decided to enrol on a six weeks mood matters course at MyWellbeing College and has never looked back; crediting the course with giving him the tools he needed to help to tackle the problem.
Blog: 17 Year old, female
I took a particular interest in mental health due to my own lived experience. I had self-harming behaviours and thoughts of suicide that lead me to getting support from CAMHS, which helped me find more positive ways to cope. I also experienced transition from children to adult mental health services which in itself had been a bumpy journey.
The OASIS young commissioners group is a mental health participation group for young people aged 11-25 that work under the ‘Future in mind’ transformation plan for Barnsley. We are the young people’s voice and influence group that work to improve mental health services and support for other young people.
From the age of eleven Gemma felt anxious and shy in social settings. This led to Gemma experiencing low mood, anxiety and loneliness during her teenage years. Now in her early twenties and a confident dental nurse, Gemma benefited from enrolling on a stresspac course available through the MyWellbeing College, which led to a boost in self-confidence and a positive impact on her life. Find out more about her experience:
A demanding teaching career left Margaret feeling anxious and low after the demands of the job left no time for a social life. Now retired, 70-year-old Margaret decided to enrol on a variety of courses available through the MyWellbeing College, including yoga and mindfulness and has credited the courses with helping her get back on track. Find out more about her experience
Khalid* accessed the First Response service and was referred to the Sanctuary safer space, at Mind in Bradford. He credits the service with making a real difference to his mental wellbeing. Khalid said: “When I was going through my mental health crisis, Mind helped me accept my mental health issue. I could ring up First Response and come down to the Sanctuary in my own time. It was a safe environment. The people were accepting and didn’t judge me. I was able to speak about my worries, fears and problems. From coming down to speak about my different mental health issues I’ve been able to accept them and it’s given me hope for the future, that yes, I might live with a mental health issue but I don’t need to let that hold me back.”
* Name has been changed to protect identity
Sarah*, aged 14, valued having a safer space to go to when she was in emotional distress following a breakdown of a family relationship. Sarah’s comments read: “It made a real difference having somewhere to go to, where I felt listened to.
* Name has been changed to protect identity
Nick Smith, a Governor at the Care Trust, who has lived experience of mental health crisis shares his views on Haven and how the service is helping people keep their mental health on track. Find out more www.bdct.nhs.uk/nick-smith/
Kate Wilson welcomed the launch of the children and young people’s safer space; she knows what it’s like to live with mental ill-health. Kate first developed depression at the age of 13 after being bullied at school for being overweight and suffering from chronic fatigue, which left her bedbound for three years. Over a decade later Kate has used her own experience to help young people overcome mental ill-health through her work with Barnardo’s.
Kate said: “When you’re in such a low mood, severely depressed and want to end your life, having a safer space to go to for a night would have been really helpful. It would have given me the chance to speak to someone else in a different setting.” Find out more: www.bdct.nhs.uk/kate-wilson/
Katrina McDonald, is a patient at Mount View Practice in Fleetwood and uses their mental health nursing service, after experiencing a period of mental ill health that could have ended with her taking her own life. At the time Katrina was under extreme pressure due to existing long term health problems with Fibromyalgia, being out of work and on benefits and as a result her mental health plummeted and she found herself in crisis. She knew her GP surgery well and at this point turned to them for help.