In August 2020, Sophie was admitted to hospital after attempting to take her own life. Sophie has struggled with her mental health since she was a child and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2019.
Following attempts to take her own life, hospital teams signposted Sophie to The Cellar Trust. Sophie began weekly phone calls with peer support worker, Anthony. Anthony is part of our peer support team who work in local A&E departments, providing one-to-one support for people who are in emotional distress. We provide regular calls to our clients throughout their recovery and help them build a brighter, independent future. “My calls with Anthony were more like an informal chat, which I preferred to the interview-like counselling sessions that I’ve had before. I was having these weekly calls with Anthony while writing my dissertation for my Master’s degree. Anthony helped me get through some of the basic stuff in life so that I could focus on my dissertation.”
“Anthony helped me set small weekly goals such as sleeping, applying for jobs and going for a walk with my family, but we also set long-term goals to help me focus on the future. I know I can always call The Cellar Trust if I start to struggle again, they have become my safety net.” Since receiving support from The Cellar Trust, Sophie has graduated with a first-class Master’s degree and is applying for jobs that research and support people with mental health problems. “The calls with Anthony have helped bridge the gap between being in hospital and starting therapy. Without the support from The Cellar Trust, I genuinely don’t think I would be here.”
“When I first came here I felt so inadequate, I felt like I was completely useless and I didn’t matter but even when I was ill and it was really hard to talk to people, I could still be with other people and they understood.
Coming here helped me overcome my own prejudices about people with mental health problems who were out of work. I used to think there was no hope for them, that they were lost and I was going to become one of those other people. Of course being at The Cellar Trust I’ve realised that there are no other people, these are people just like anyone else and I’m totally accepting of things. And that’s enlightening.
I’m far more sociable now. I’d been really isolated but since I have been here I have met so many people from so many different backgrounds. It is horrendous to think where I would have been without The Cellar Trust. I dread to think where I would have been. It’s frightening. I would be at home isolated and the more isolated I became, the more mentally ill I would have become.
The work placement at Shipley Health Store was the biggest benefit factor in the improvement of my mental health. Because of the nature of the shop I could go in at a basic level. At first I was just decanting oils into little glass boxes and that was enough for me. Over the weeks my confidence has grown and I now serve in the shop. I love the people, the place, the work and I have realised oh my God I am quite capable, I can work in a shop, I can handle money, and I can talk to people. Suddenly all my skills have come to the surface and my confidence has grown and it’s all through The Cellar Trust. Now I am starting a paid job there but it doesn’t feel like work to me because I enjoy that place so much. It is like going to meet friends.
In the future I would like to carry on working for Shipley Health Store and ideally I would like to combine that with voluntary work. That would be perfect.”
“Before I came here I had nothing at all. It is something to get up for. I come here and it is wonderful. I was very worried before I came but from the moment I met Diane, my Vocational Development Specialist, I was at ease. Here you have found room for me. I haven’t had that before. To be treated like a human being for a change… it isn’t something I was used to.
It’s brilliant working in the café. Heather who manages the Café is extremely patient and explains everything properly. If you make a mistake it doesn’t matter and you can learn. I have gained a lot of confidence and I have been able to do things in my own time. At first I wouldn’t come out of the kitchen, now I feel happy coming out to serve customers.
I now feel happy about the future and am looking forward to it. Every night I used to pray that I’d die in my sleep and I would dread the alarm going off. Now I can’t wait for it to go off because I am coming here. I would like to thank The Cellar Trust for giving me a chance.”