"Southdown is helping me out of my own distress"

Preston Park Recovery Centre Client

The Recovery Centre is very important because I’ve got no-one to talk to, no-one to be able to talk about my difficulties in life. The staff counsel me about my difficulties, advise me and encourage me.

Southdown is helping me out of my own distress. I find it really difficult to meet people in the community. I don’t really know many people. I come here because it’s convenient for a meal and to socialise. It’s something I’ve been missing.

I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1984. A lot of the problems are caused by the medication I’ve been taking. Only when I’m on a very low dose do I feel okay.

I’ve been involved with the psychiatric services for about 30 years. It makes me feel like my life has been taken away from me. It has been so difficult.

I felt angry for many years. I felt a lot of anger. But I don’t feel angry now.

The Recovery Centre is very important because I’ve got no-one to talk to, no-one to be able to talk about my difficulties in life. The staff counsel me about my difficulties, advise me and encourage me.

I come in once or twice a week. The lunch largely attracts me – to have a hot meal, conveniently priced that I don’t need to cook myself. I’m not very good at cooking because of the medication.

I would like people to lose prejudice against troubled people. We get a lot of very nice people who are mentally ill. We shouldn’t be judged. People stigmatise us, they label us “nutters”. It makes me feel very very hurt. A lot of people laugh at people who are ill.

Most people in society have a problem. Some people have more than others. No-one is perfect.

Preston Park Recovery Centre provides a welcoming and supportive environment in which people with mental health support needs can receive individual support, learn new skills and get involved in a variety of groups and activities. The Centre also provides access to our specialist employment service, a welfare benefits service and can refer onto other services such as housing and health.