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.
My childhood was unhappy, unstable, abusive but I do have a few happy memories. I had problems at school but was told I could do better and never reached my full potential, I found it challenging on every level. I realise how frustrating I must have been and how I had unhealthy attachment issues with staff. They didn’t know what to do with me.
After I left school I got involved in the drug scene and started abusing different drugs for a few years.
I have suffered from depression for many years and have been prescribed antidepressants by my doctor for the last 13/14 years with no questions asked as to whether I still need these pills. I have never been offered any help or counselling by the doctor or any other mental health services and I still have a repeat prescription from the doctor for antidepressants and have never been questioned if I still need them.
I got into an abusive relationship quite early and ended up having two children. The abuse was so bad I ended up in the Hostel and the police were involved. It was so bad that my mental health crashed. Family and children social services got involved as I was struggling to cope. I had split up with my partner by then and we shared looking after them.
Social services suggested that the children stay with their father for a week and I agreed. This allowed me to pull myself together and get on top of things. Then I got a telephone call from social service to say that they felt it was best that the kids stay with their father. No court appearances or hearings I was just told. I tried killing myself a couple of days later and they then used it to justify me not seeing the children at all.
Quing has helped me in so many ways. I have become a much more confident and rounded person and feel that I am, in some small way, helping others. I am a regular attendee of Quing, a key holder, and have even been voted onto the Board for monthly Board Meetings. This has really helped boost my confidence and growth.
Quing is a welcoming and safe place to attend. There is always a happy, smiling face to greet and listen should you be feeling down or have a problem. Just being welcomed and listened to without judgement in a safe place is helping so many Quing members, who become like family and I am so proud of everyone who attends and whom I have seen grow in confidence and self-esteem, it is wonderful to see. Graham and all those involved in Quing are doing a brilliant job, I can’t praise them enough.