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.

When I left the Military I was in a mess, head spinning, explosive emotions, and self-isolating, not looking after myself. But over time I sort of got used to civvy life. I had mental health episodes on and off with some acute phases.

I tried engaging with mental health but found them next to impossible to engage with. In 2006 I was in a state and went to get help but was told they couldn’t give me any because I wasn’t suicidal. All they did was up my medication time and time again. I struggled and tried to stay in employment but in the end, I was so heavily medicated that I had to give up work.

I was in a flat isolated, my mental health rapidly deteriorating, and was highly medicated. The CMHP and Praxis decided that they would move me into sheltered accommodation and said I could think about it. I don’t like too much change and was embarrassed about how far I had fallen and the state of my flat. I moved into the sheltered accommodation and struggled to engage with them and struggled to clear up the flat. 

When I eventually realised that I could not do it by myself and asked for help, they said no as I had refused to engage with them beforehand.

In the end, I did end up hospitalised because I said I was suicidal. After this stay in the hospital, I got some short term help and they changed my meds. Though looking back from today what they did to help me in the short term made my long term journey quality of life and mental health worse.

One of my friends recommended that I start coming to Quing, so I just turned up. Realistically I had been medicated on and off for a couple of decades, my life was in a mess and I had been isolated from my family for years. Quing is different from my experience of all the other services, I am in charge of what I engage with, it makes me grow, it’s okay to get it wrong because this is how we learn, It is also holistic. It allows me to work on my mental health, addiction issues, and trauma at the same time.

Through this the quality of my life has increased, I have hope, I understand my own limits, and have grown hugely.

So if I had not found Quing where would I be? Imprisoned in my flat, alone isolated, back to the hell of severe mental health problems and there is a good chance I would have killed myself as I really don’t want to go back to that hell.