Here are two recent feedback testimonials from mental health Carers supported by our Carers’ Support Service.
“Just a few lines to say how supported I have felt as a Carer using Stockport Mind’s services. I know they are always there if I need help and support .They have provided me with a Carers’ assessment, identifying my needs as a Carer.”
“The past six months have been very difficult for me, dealing with my wife who has developed severe depression – which unfortunately led to her hospitalisation over two periods within this time – the second episode being for three months.
Between these episodes, on advice/suggestion, I finally reached out to the Stockport Mind Carers Support team, as I was finding it extremely difficult to cope with my wife’s condition – which I just didn’t know which way to turn – and life’s challenges of holding down a full-time, pressurised job.
My initial contact was with Carers Support Worker Dennis, who arranged to call me at a time to suit my availability, so that he could discuss the situation I found myself in and held out his hand of support – which I’m so glad that I took. I didn’t know it at the time, but things were just about to get a whole lot more challenging for us at home, as my wife’s condition deteriorated and soon Stockport Mind’s support would become invaluable.
Before the second hospitalisation there were Carers meetings happening fortnightly online, which with work constraints I just couldn’t take part in. But when I needed them the most, I took the plunge and joined in on the next online group meeting.
This is, for anyone, a major step into the unknown and what I was going to find there, I wasn’t at all sure? Would it be judgement, prying or even a click of people where I would just not fit in, but how wrong could I be?
My first interaction was one of welcome by a whole diverse group of Carers, who welcomed me with care and concern about my situation and who were not there to judge but to show me that they understood my situation and in fact related to just about every concern I had, and helped me to see that I was not alone.
The fortnightly meetings have now become my place of sanctuary and so important to my own mental state. Dennis and the team make this a place of safety and security where we all have a voice but more importantly have care, support and a feeling of relief from our day-to-day issues.
The Stockport Mind service has given me so much in the last two months alone and shown me that you not only gain from this support but you can give it back, which allows you to allay some of your darkest fears. Otherwise we would all be trying to do this all on our own and that’s never going to end well.
I have now gone from a person who didn’t know how to not only deal with my own volatile situation at home – where I would rise to the situation, making things worse – to one who can now actually think before I say or do anything and try to defuse the situations as they happen.
None of this would have been possible on my own and I will be eternally thankful for the support both this far and ongoing as I look to my personal future with my wife and the long road I know we have ahead of us together, knowing I’m not alone.
A major part of my recent learning has also come from an online course run in conjunction between Stockport Mind and Sequoia Support, called ‘How do I…?’
Where do I begin other than to say Thank You for allowing me to take part in this four week course, as it has been an absolute game-changer for me in understanding not only what we are going through but more importantly how to best deal with situations in the home.
I want to put a special commendation to Katie who ran the course. She is amazing in the way she approached these subjects, she laid bare her sole to us all and shared her own and very personal life’s experiences so we could see things objectively, which I’ve never witnessed someone do before, but it was truly moving.
Katie brought the team together, most of whom we knew from our Stockport Mind meetings, in such a way that we now even have our own WhatsApp group and support each other on a daily basis, whether that’s through someone’s dark times or just to shine some light and enjoy a laugh, which we all need.
Massive thank you to Katie for all that you do and for still being there for us all, even after the course. You are an amazing individual.
Dennis, I also want to thank you so much for all of your support and allowing me to know that you and the team were there but for never ever putting any pressure on me to take part, but just reassuring me that when the time was right you were all there for me. Huge Thanks
In summary – for anyone going through what myself and so many others are at this and anytime, the first step is realising that you are not an island and there is help, but more importantly don’t be afraid to take that leap and contact Stockport Mind.
The personal rewards to help you through are fantastic and once you have taken that first step, it is such a relief, which I say with total admiration for what they do for us all. Keep up the good work everyone as with you our world is that little bit brighter.”
Thank you so much to Sally and Steve for sharing their stories.