Members of the community mental health charity Quing have shared their experiences of the support it has given them and how it helped them to help themselves and others. All stories have been anonymised.

I first entered the care system when I was seven and had no stability, it felt I was just passed around. Manx Care Services, St Christophers and the Children Centre and was also shipped off island for an extended period of three years.

Rather than deal with the trauma of my father being murdered when I was ten they just tried to manage my behaviour. At one point the only way my wishes were heard was to become so enraged I smash the place up and attack staff.

I have been diagnosed over the years with loads of different things: Autism, Bipolar, schizoid- affective disorder, panic attacks, severe anxiety to name just a few.

One of my friends recommended that I come to Quing, he said it was completely different. It was run by people who had lived experiences of mental health, addiction, and being totally isolated. That we could offer support in a completely different way.

I have been in the revolving door of the criminal justice system from a really early age of 7 or 8. Probation just left me feeling used and was totally pointless.

Since I started attending Quing I have learnt so much, Self-development, building on my inner strengths and I am an asset to my community rather than being a problem to be fixed. I’ve done some amazing courses: the four-day self-discovery course (that allowed me to know myself), trauma-informed care (Why I am the way I was) emotional intelligence (healthily using my emotions). I have found all the courses extremely beneficial and life-changing.

My experience of Quing is that I am understood and made welcome. I have a sense of belonging and connection, I feel understood. The four-day self-discovery course was amazing. It showed me how to look at myself with curiosity rather than judgement and that I was on a journey. I have attended lots of workshops and events and am looking forward to doing Level 1 in the new year.

My mental health has also radically improved. Instead of having two or three panic attacks a week, I might have one a month. My head is clearer, and the Doctor has begun reducing my medication and I am beginning to heal and have hope for the future. I am being more proactive in engaging with other organisations and courses and I am definitely beginning to take control of my life.