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Talking trouble away: Sam’s story

“I know the right help is there when I need it, whereas in the past I’d struggle to cope every night.”

In the past seven or so years I’ve had a lot of involvement with various mental health services following a series of stressful events taking place in my life, which I struggled to cope with, such as my  nana passing away and the loss of one of my children.

I often feel very suicidal and in the past I’ve been sectioned under the mental health act. I feel especially worse in the early hours of the morning when my mind starts to have irrational thoughts.

I have had some serious suicide attempts where I’ve almost died, but I’m glad I didn’t because 95% of the time I don’t want to die. The Sanctuary has provided a safe place where I can go when my mind goes to a dark place.

If it wasn’t here for me, I would have been looking on the internet for ways to kill myself or writing suicide notes. When I first visited the Sanctuary, I was struggling to take my anti-depressants even though I knew they were an important part of my recovery.

While at the Sanctuary, the first thing the worker did was to talk to me about the medication. With his help, I was able to draw up a schedule and begin taking the medication on a regular basis – which has helped a lot.

Previously, I’d had conversations with psychiatrists and medical professionals about the importance of medication, but none of them were able to convince me, like the Sanctuary worker was able to, in a compassionate way, that medication was right for me.

Since the Sanctuary has been here, I’ve not needed to be in touch with mental health services apart from my fortnightly Community Psychiatric Nurse visits. Just knowing that the Sanctuary is there is important to me. I know the right help is there when I need it, whereas in the past I’d struggle to cope every night.

The Sanctuary provides 24-hour mental health crisis support, either over the phone or face-to-face, to adults who are experiencing anxiety, panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts or are in crisis.