Five years ago, a series of family tragedies left me in a really fragile place.
“My mental health suffered and I found it difficult to keep on top of things. My eldest daughter was taken away because I was struggling to look after her. When I got in touch with St Mungo’s. I was dangerously close to losing my home.
But my St Mungo’s advisor helped me start to get my life back on track. They supported me with things like budgeting – when you’re experiencing grief, the last thing on your mind is money – but also with my mental health. They helped me get through my grief and out the other side to a place where I could feel hopeful again.
One of the most important things my advisor did was encourage me to go and see a doctor. The doctor helped me begin to deal with what had happened, and also provided letters which helped me to negotiate repayments.
Once people knew that what I had been saying about my mental health was true, that it had been confirmed by a doctor, they were willing to be more flexible. I got the headspace and the time I needed to sort myself out. Because of my St Mungo’s advisor, I managed to keep my home.
Being in touch with St Mungo’s also introduced me to lots of new things. They sent me the Recovery College curriculum and I thought it looked amazing, so I went down to the open day.
That’s when I met a woman called Jill who told me about Outside In, St Mungo’s client involvement group, and I decided to get involved in that too. I’ve done all sorts of things as part of Outside In. I’ve organised the Client Festival, which is a one day festival run by and for the people St Mungo’s supports, and I’ve been on interview panels. It’s what gave me the courage to apply for the apprenticeship.