Gina's story

Transform has grounded me and given me hope for the future...

My mental health problems started in my first year of university. I took on an awful lot while I was studying, without much support, and at the same time I was experiencing family problems. Within the first term I had my first breakdown. I stopped taking medication for my depression; for three months I didn’t know what I was doing and ended up in a lot of debt. One night I walked across the motorway and ended up in hospital under a police section. It was a tough experience, I was lucky I didn’t do anything more serious.

One night I walked across the motorway and ended up in hospital under a police section.

I was living with my mum before, but she had been moved to sheltered accommodation so I had no home to go to. I moved into a Transform property which was nearer to home. I was so pleased to be rescued by Transform. It was the first time I’d ever lived on my own, or had my own flat. There was lots of responsibility, but I got to know the other people living with Transform, which gave me a feeling of security. I had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia which makes you really conscious of how the outside world sees you. It was an uncertain and complicated time, but Transform helped me.

Transform helps us to get the skills we need, so we can go on to be independent and responsible in the community.

Eventually my keyworker helped me move to a Transform property two streets away from my mum, which is brilliant. The people are friendly and we do lots of things together. We have dinner at each other’s houses, we have been doing a bit of gardening, we planted tomatoes, and my neighbour has grown sunflowers! We have house meetings once a month to discuss any problems. At the moment we are learning about recycling. Transform helps us to get the skills we need, so we can go on to be independent and responsible in the community.

My keyworker has helped me loads. She’s one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. She has helped me put a payment plan in place to help sort out my debt. Things have changed a lot – it’s a completely different way of life from where I started off. Once you’ve been through the sort of things I’ve been through, you are really appreciative of a home and having a bit more stability. But when you are moving around all the time like I used to, you really feel like you don’t have much of a chance other than just surviving.

Once you’ve been through the things I’ve been through, you are really appreciative of a home and having stability.

Looking to the future, there are a lot of things I want to do. I’m hoping to go back to college to do a counselling course, and am looking for a voluntary job as well. Everyone gets lost in the world sometimes but having that support is really amazing. No matter how tough it gets Transform are reliable and always there when you need to ask for help. Transform has grounded me and given me hope for the future.

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