Caty’s Story *

Rediscovering myself

Before becoming ill, Caty had worked successfully for many years in administration. Her job had been very important to her. She had never really thought about mental health, but then, after a period of severe stress, she became unwell. After leaving hospital, it took months to recover, and it was at this time that she began attending Start.

After some years’ study at Start, she has successfully undertaken a teacher training placement, and completed a college course in art and design. Now she is considering career options for the future.

“ When I found the art room in hospital, I found a haven. It was a way of channeling the little energy and control I had into something positive. Then, after a second hospital admission, I was told about Start, and that was about eight years ago.

“Start has helped me to rebuild my confidence and self belief after illness. My friendships with other Start students have helped me to realize that my illness need not be a negative experience but one that is valuable to me personally and also to others. I feel accepted for who I am and what I can share, and this extends beyond my illness into other life experiences. I suppose you could say that Start has helped me find a sense of myself.”

* Not person’s real name

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