Today, Sunday 10th October, is World Mental Health Day...

Last year, those in our Mental Health & Rehabilitation Service brought you a quiz with some questions and answers to think on. Click HERE to see them again.

In the run up to the day this year, someone currently being supported in that service has documented some of their journey. We thank them for their bravery and for sharing some of their experience with us...

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“Almost two years ago I was found near the tram station with no shoes on. It was freezing cold and I could feel my body shivering. Somebody had called an ambulance. I was taken to A&E and they said my blood pressure was dangerously low…”

Note - we’re so glad to tell you that she’s now on a progressive and positive path. However, it’s fair to say that the last few years have been a journey, even just in terms of finding that path…

“I’ve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety many times over many years. Due to the illness, I’ve spent time in a hospital mental health ward. I was in that ward once for five months - it wasn't a good experience and I wanted to go home.”

It was then that this woman started to hear voices in her head, which became evermore dangerous and eventually lead to the incident detailed at the start of this piece…

“I started to hear voices – they’d tell me to go outside at night with no shoes on. They’d tell me not to shower and not to eat. I tried not to act on them and did everything to distract myself but it didn’t work. I heard a man’s voice telling me these things so clearly that I was at the point of starving myself. I was on lots of medication and suffered from anorexia. I was put on the medication to help increase my appetite and to hopefully stop hearing the voices.”

Fast forward a year and thankfully, the situation has improved beyond recognition…

“My Care Coordinator told me about a place called Willow House and after a short time, I was able to apply for and accept a place there. Since I’ve been at Willow, I’ve been eating regular meals, showering every day, and treating myself a lot better. The staff have been nothing but helpful and I really appreciate what they’ve done for me. I’ve bought new clothes and I even volunteer in a charity shop now. I’ve turned my life around! I couldn’t have done it without their help and support and I'm very grateful for it.

I want to say thank you to everyone at Willow House for looking after me, and being so patient and kind. I’m a whole new person now, thanks to this amazing support service. I hope my story inspires other people going through the same thing and would say that if I can get through this, then anyone can.”

Some thoughts now from Maggie who's pictured below (right) alongside her colleague Victoria, supporting the #HelloYellow campaign this year. Maggie is a Support Worker in our Mental Health & Rehabilitation Service and has worked closely with this woman who's shared her story above…

“We were so pleased when she moved in. I was there when this lady first visited Willow alongside her Care Coordinator and it was clear that she was struggling. In truth, I think she had got used to struggling. She needed lots of reassurance and once she’d decided to give our service a go, she needed time to settle. It can take time to build trust.

We took things back to basics in terms of re-learning some key household and living skills, and slowly but surely we saw confidence grow. You should see her now! She’s way more confident and is eating regularly. There’s a real support network around her again. That includes us at the MioCare Group, but crucially, not just us. She’s let down her guard a little is all the stronger for it - she’s even advising others to get the support they need.”

This #WorldMentalHealthDay, we want to thank those who are supported by our Mental Health & Rehabilitation Service, and also those doing the supporting! We’d especially like to thank the woman you’ve heard from above, for sharing her story.

If you'd like to know more about the service, please do get in touch.

Email info@miocare.co.uk or call 0161 770 8777. We look forward to hearing from you!

#MadeInOldham