RICHARD

RICHARD’S STORY:

“I have Asperger’s Syndrome, coupled with a history of Body Dysmorphia, Bulimia and associated anxiety issues. I had a rocky time at school, which took its toll on my mental health, but then going to university in a different town, really blew me out”

 

“The man from Stepping Stones was much more approachable and supported me in a way that helped me directly, rather than sticking to protocol.”

 

BUILDING CONFIDENCE

“I started to struggle, trying to find my feet in a strange place and not feeling 100% and became more and more insecure. At the end of my first year at university, I was diagnosed with depression, wasn’t eating and was not in a very good place. I contacted the department at college, which dealt with these issues and although they did their best to try to help, their approach did nothing to alleviate my issues. Then a member from the mentoring team at Stepping Stones joined student services, to cover for maternity leave. He was much more approachable and supported me in a way that helped me directly, rather than sticking to protocol”.

“One of the things that helped me enormously, was his intervention in dealing with North Essex Partnership Trust, who had doped me to the eyeballs with a cocktail of pills, so much so, that I developed an allergic reaction, my muscles going into spasm when I panicked. They threatened to section me, but it was only the allergic reaction which made me feel bad, which the Trust didn’t understand. The Stepping Stones mentor stepped up and battled on my behalf and the North Essex Partnership Trust backed down, when he explained the context of how I was feeling”.

RECOVERY

“He understood me completely and was able to get back to where we left off each time we met. He had a holistic approach to helping me, a mix of counselling, academic mentoring and therapy and became more like a family friend. He also helped in sorting out my flat, which I found I was unable to cope with. I was able to get through University and got a first class BA honours degree in Drama and Literature. Then when I was doing my MA in literature, I became involved with a bad person, who tried to break into my flat. Stepping Stones helped me, letting me have a flat over the road, where a couple of Support Staff lived. With this support, I managed to get my life back on track and helped me get back my independence”.

THANK YOU STEPPING STONES

I went on to take a Phd in London, but kept in touch with Stepping Stones, so that when I felt insecure, living in unfamiliar surroundings, they found an old friend from University to flat share with me, who knew about my mental health issues and was able to offer informal support to help me through my degree.

Stepping Stones have done so much in helping people people deal with mental health issues and since my university, they have widened that scope of help with supported housing.

I am now on a Graduate Training Scheme with a major retailer, I owe so much to Stepping Stones, I wouldn’t have got through it all if they hadn’t been there for me.