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1

The Acute Mental Health Team at Parklands hospital have been my lifeline when I’ve left hospital in the past, and this time they even helped keep me out of the hospital.  They’re always very helpful, available 24/7, with a listening ear and practical advice.  They even took me home from the local A&E after one of the nurses had just done a long shift when my husband was kept in as I wasn’t capable of getting home on my own. A trip to the hospital takes half hour each way. Sue looked after me for a lot of the time and I am overwhelmed by how much she helped me and understood where I was coming from. I owe my life to them, literally.

2

Pru is a receptionist and also mans (or rather ‘womans’) the reception at Hospital on a Friday evening.  She has been a constant welcoming presence since I first started using our local mental health services 18 years ago.  She has always been caring and empathic and helps in any way she can.

Recently my mind regressed to when I was 8. I found myself lost and alone but I always carry a note attached to my phone which tells me to ring the helpline number when I need help.  Fortunately, it was Pru who answered.  Because of what had happened I didn’t remember her or even know my present surname (I gave my name as it was when I was 8). I also didn’t know the phone number I was calling on, but she recognised my voice, calmed me down and got me the help I needed.

Just having her answering the phone when things are difficult makes me feel so much better.  A person I know I can trust and who I know will help me the best she can.

– Lorraine Haysom

3

When I moved back to my home town, I was treated by the community mental health team like I’d never been treated by them before. I was listened to and talked to like a person, not a problem. I was made to feel like these issues mattered and I wasn’t alone in dealing with them. They gave me hope by offering me therapies and groups I’m yet to start, but hope to soon. They’ve given me a chance to rebuild the future I nearly missed out on, and for that I’ll always be grateful.

4

The peer support worker at the hospital I was an inpatient in was incredible. She has changed my life beyond belief with hope that not only can I survive, but I can make a difference in the lives of others in the future. She made me feel like my experiences can be used for good, and not a pointless living hell.

She’d really been there and knew what I was going through.

5

She took the time to actually talk to me, encourage me to use my talents for good. I even got to help paint and decorate images onto the wall on the ward. We laughed and cried together, we spent time doing activities and talking; it made all the difference to my life, not only at the time, but for good. At my most vulnerable she was my listening ear, my hand of hope, and encouragement to survive.

A true inspiration, and someone I have cherished meeting even if the most difficult of circumstances. Without her, I’m not sure I’d have made it through.

– Lucy Roberts

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