“St Vincent’s has given me a second chance.”
“When I walked into here over 3 years ago, I was fit for nothing. I was a recluse, I’d lost everything, I didn’t want to show my face, I felt shame. Slowly, through being part of St Vincent’s, all that has kind of melted away. That’s how it seems- but it’s been hard working making it melt…
From the very first time I came to St Vincent’s, people that I didn’t even know respected me and didn’t treat me any differently. No one walks by you in the corridor, people always say hello. People got to know my name and when I come in now it’s always “morning Andrew” and it’s always said with enthusiasm. That’s the essence of what it’s all about. It’s the people within the building.
St Vincent’s has created this safe bubble for me that has allowed me to start to learn to function again.
Literally, this place saved my life- make no mistake about it. I know it’s a cliché and it’s not something I really like saying, but it saved my life coming to St Vincent’s and not only that but now I feel enthusiasm again. I feel right now that this is a journey starting again. It’s going to be the joyous journey that life should be, not the complete hell that is was.
It doesn’t take a brain or heart surgeon with millions of pounds of training to save somebody’s life. That’s why those little counselling rooms are so important. Relatively, it doesn’t cost a lot to finance somebody up there, for all the good it can do.
I keep thinking, how many more people are there out there like me, how many more that someone to understand to be there to make someone feel real and acknowledged.
When you have mental health problems you become invisible – a lot of that is your own doing. You want to go inside your bubble and become a recluse and it doesn’t take long to become invisible and it’s an awful way to be.
St Vincent’s is a safe place where I can be open with my feelings because I trust everybody here – it’s a professional environment so I don’t need to worry.”
– Andrew, counselling client and volunteer