Aberconwy Mind Case Studies

Case Study 1 – Carol’s story

“I have been coming to Aberconwy Mind for about ten years now. I haven’t had a breakdown as such but I had a brain hemorrhage twelve years ago, when my little boy was four. I’ve had to come to terms with my disability and depression as a result of having to cope with the effects of the brain hemorrhage. Parts of my life have been very funny, in parts I have cried and in parts I have felt like ending it all but since coming to Mind I don’t feel like that so much.”

“When I first came to Mind I cried, I just remember crying. Then as time went on I got more involved in activities at Mind. I try and get involved in everything. I come to the creative writing group, the art group and the women’s group. I’ve been on trips to the zoo, the Mostyn Art Gallery, Habit tearooms, etc. I also go to the Thursday and Saturday evening pop-ins, when I join in with the quiz or bingo. With the quizzes, I find that I often know the answer, which makes’ me feel good about myself I think Mind is wonderful. It helped me and saved my life time and time again. I like going there to meet different people and if I can help anyone in any way I try to. Mind has helped me to make friends and going to Mind makes me fell good I’ve also learned a lot, it has helped me to be more tolerant to others as well as giving me more confidence. Mind helps me to talk about my feelings “.

Case Study 2 – Michael’s story

“A friend of mine who was a member of Mind introduced me to Mind as I was suffering from depression. I was staying in the house all by myself and did not have many friends and found it hard to make friends.

Mind is very easy going. Because people have the same kind of problems that I suffered from I found them more understanding. People in Mind find it easier to express themselves inside Mind than outside because they have all had similar problems. They did not poke fun at me.

It took me about two to three months to break the ice. Then I began to make friends, I opened up and was not so self conscious. I began to take an interest in the running of Mind and I am now going for a position as an officer of Mind I wish to give hope and confidence to other members of Mind and show them that if I can recover they can too “.

Case Study 3 – Melissa’s story

“After a deeply traumatic experience in my life I suffered very badly from depression. I lost my confidence and developed a social phobia which left me unable to leave the house.

It was suggested that I pop along to Mind. Eventually I managed to get on a bus and get to the center. I was immediately welcomed in by all the members and volunteers and suddenly I felt a part of things.

I received total support and understanding from everyone in a completely nonjudgmental way and slowly began to regain my confidence and rebuild my life. I became involved in groups and became a volunteer and began to enjoy all the things I had given up on”.

Case Study 4 – Jonathan’s story

“I was introduced to Mind when I was in a Christian run after care home by a friend who also lived there. My first impression of Mind was that it was a very relaxed place with settees and the atmosphere and the people where every friendly and they did not seem to want anything from me but for me to be myself.

We made friends and got to know each other without the games they play in civvy street i.e. they did not care whether you had a penny or ten pounds in your pocket. They accepted for what you where. I put this down to the fact that most have not sailed through life and through this had realised to have empathy with other people regardless of whether they had problems or not. I found the volunteers very encouraging when you were trying for a goal whether it be self medication or whether it be big step like going back to work as a disabled person.

I believe from what I have seen and they say that seeing is believing that I have seen peoples lives changed by the love they are shown at mind i.e. by staff and users. I personally would be lost if I thought I could not see my friends and the people I have got to know and are dear to me because although people like to be private they also like to be loved as the song goes….All you need is love”.

Case Study 5 – Hilary’s story

“About six years ago, after a period of depression, I noticed an advert for the drop-in at Aberconwy Mind. I decided to go along (a brave decision for me, as I didn’t know anyone) and was welcomed so warmly, I ended up attending a user group every Wednesday.

The user group was just open to all people who had used, or were using the mental health services. It was a revelation for me. There I could talk about my problems and past experiences with other people who had similar stories to tell. This was my first experience of Mind. After this I began attending the drop-in and soon gained confidence in the friendly atmosphere and lively chat over a cup of tea. I came to realise that mental health problems can affect anyone, young or old, rich or poor, and all types of professions – doctors, nurses, plumbers, manual workers, housewives, students, everyone. A few months later I was asked whether I would like to become a volunteer. I’d seen what the volunteers do at Mind and decided I’d really like to try it. I had some volunteer training,. I learned really how to listen, because we’re not here to give advice but to help generally by listening. I think what I’ve gained from being a volunteer is an insight into other people’s problems and also a sense of humour. It’s not all doom and gloom and people tell you things that went wrong and they’re still there and telling you about it. I’ve also learnt tolerance of other people whereas I used to be impatient.

Almost everyone has some background experience, no matter how small, that they can bring to volunteering. In my case, before coming here, I worked in London in personnel for thirteen years. I had worked with confidential data all along and that comes into play now in Mind because anything said to us remains confidential. When I started as a volunteer I was introduced to it gradually. When the children were little I only worked one half day a week and now that the children are older I do two days a week and it fits in very well with my home life.

As a volunteer, I’ve been out on a few trips and one of those was a trip to Ireland. There were about a dozen of us. We went on an open top bus around Dublin and had a lovely time, the volunteers and members. Someone suggested the trip wouldn’t be complete without trying the Guinness as well. It was just a lovely day out.

I’d recommend volunteering for the drop-in to anyone, it has helped me tremendously, but just attending the drop-in in those early days was such a help to me. Come along and find out for yourself”.

Case Study 6 – Angela’s story

“I was involved in National Mind’s Respect Campaign which taught me a lot more of how to become more tolerant of other people. Everyone who comes also gets something from Mind: friendship, companionship, activities, being able to talk freely to volunteers and each other, confidence etc. This is one of my most recent poems written at the creative writing group:-

The Eye of the Storm

The eye of the storm Says different things;
It could be peaceful,
it could be frantic,
It could be chaotic

This is like the eye
Of the leopard
The leopard when he runs As he runs as fast
As a storm comes

He tries to catch the storm He punches at it
And if he catches it
He lays down and sleeps.

Angela Ridapth