David, an AFG Service User, tells his powerful story of Mental Heath diagnosis to recovery, with the support of his staff at The Limes, Middlewich, since moving in in August.
“My name is David, and I am 23 years old.
Six years ago I had a lot of stuff happen to me that made me make some really hard decisions in my life. These decisions never really came easily, but they had to be made, nevertheless. Two years on from making these choices I found myself not being able to control my emotions in the way that I wanted. I can honestly say that I had lost myself completely. I went from being extremely sociable to not being able to think of an on-the-spot sentence. I went into the most extreme depression and anxiety imaginable (my life had literally become a living hell).
I was referred to the 16-19 Group by my GP, and then the 16-19 Group referred me to the Early Intervention Team where I then received a Mental Health diagnosis. I underwent treatment for the next four years while trying to stay positive and make some sense of everything. In these four years my accommodation was kind of unstable. I stayed with a friend for a while where I then moved into a Hostel. I stayed in this Hostel for a few months before returning back to my friend.
These moves happened a few times before I was placed into Supported Housing where I remained for two years. My Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) and Support Staff at the place of my residence came to a decision that I was ready to move on into Independent Living.
This would later prove to be a fatal wrong decision as I deteriorated and broke down completely after only a month of having my own flat. Needless to say I abandoned the flat to go and live in my friend’s house where I was then referred to Semi-Independent Living run by AFG, where I took a turn for the better.
I would like to give a personal shout-out to Ann-Marie of AFG for being the person she is. Ann-Marie has managed to bring back my former personality (much to the delight of the Early Intervention Team). Elaine, my CPN, quoted that she had never seen me this happy and bubbly before. Since moving into The Limes I have been recruited into the Service User Representative Forum (SURF), and excelled to an extent where I now wish to go to college to further my education.
So when it comes to Supported Housing / Semi-Independent Living, this move has been my greatest! The Staff I have come across at AFG seem to be some of the finest Support Workers in the country, and I hope this will continue.
Thank you for listening to my story.”