Sharona's story: "I was feeling anxious about leaving the house. Now I'm supported"
She received help from our mental health service.
Sharona was experiencing anxiety and agoraphobia and felt that the world was moving on without her. Now, for the first time in years, she finally feels confident enough to leave the house.
Sharona lives in Kent. She has experienced anxiety and agoraphobia for much of her life. This has made many everyday things like shopping or going outdoors for exercise difficult. It left her feeling isolated and cut off from others. As if the world was moving on without her and she had no one to talk to.
Reaching out for help was proving difficult too. "I’d lost all hope and I felt like I wanted to give up completely."
Support to connect with others
NHS professionals referred Sharona to one of Porchlight’s mental health services: One of the services we run is for people that feel isolated or cut off from others in their community. Through this, Sharona was able to have regular contact with a Porchlight support worker to start to build her confidence about leaving the house.
“I’ve never felt more supported than I have with my Porchlight worker. She’s really gone above and beyond to make sure I’m getting the right help and to give me encouragement. I feel like I’ve taken huge steps forward.”
Sharona was invited to participate in virtual coffee mornings, quizzes and crochet sessions run by Porchlight. These were also attended by other clients, giving her the chance form new friendships and hear how others manage their mental health.
Help with anxiety and the chance to talk
She also took part in online anxiety workshops run by Porchlight which have taught her techniques to manage her mental health. Staff are also helping her access talking therapy.
This support has improved Sharona’s mental wellbeing and has helped her to feel more confident.
She’s begun leaving the house and going shopping for the first time in years, and has even taken up cycling. She has also started running extra online meet-ups and WhatsApp support groups with other clients, sharing what she’s learned and being there for those who are struggling with their mental health.
"This service was the little bit of hope and light I needed in a dark place when I wanted to give up completely. There are people who are willing to help and make sure you get through a hard time in your life.”
To find out more about Porchlight's mental health services, of which the largest county-wide is Live Well Kent, click here. Our new Coronavirus information and resources can be found here.
If you prefer to talk through how Porchlight can help you get the support you need, you can call our helpline free 24/7 on 0800 567 7699.
If you are in emotional distress and need urgent help the Release the Pressure team in Kent is also available 24/7. You can text the word KENT to 85258 or call 0800 107 0160