I have received support from EPUT since 2010, and feel that with the care, support and understanding I have moved forward in my journey towards recovery and managing my life in a stronger and more positive way.
This has encouraged me to share some of my story.
Chelmsford Recovery Hub opened about 6 years ago, I was encouraged to go along, look at the prospectus of beneficial courses on offer and enrol in some I felt might support me further.
I gained so much insight into my condition and how I could possibly help myself in some of the skills that could further my recovery. By meeting others who also struggled with their mental health and well-being, it allowed me to feel less isolated, less different and make new friends. This introduced me into becoming a volunteer for the Trust.
I trained to become part of the buddy scheme to students of 2nd year psychiatric nurses at Anglia Ruskin University. I also trained to sit on interview panels, give presentation talks on my journey towards recovery, took part in patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE) visits on various units across the Trust.
In all these areas I was given excellent training, mentoring, support and encouragement. Being an EPUT volunteer has allowed me to see the bigger picture of mental health care. It gives me a sense of value and fulfilment. I have made many good friends. I also feel an immense sense of self-worth and the ability to give back a little of the care and support given and shown to me by the Trust, over the last few years.
This has definitely given me a reason to continue and make something special in my life. I would recommend volunteering to anyone who feels they are well enough in their own journey and continue on a positive path towards achieving the benefits of recovery and well-being.