Huw’s poor mental health influences every aspect of his life and he says that Chapter is the only thing that stabilises him and helps him control his suicidal thoughts.
‘I just don’t think I’d be here today. I have them [suicidal thoughts] every day. They’re there every day. But every day I think ‘I have to go to the allotment or this club or that meeting’ and that means I can push the thoughts to the back of my head and get through another day. If you [Chapter] think you’re not achieving anything on any particular day – you are – you’ve kept me alive that day.’
When I first joined Chapter my life was a mess and topsy turvy. I was a heavy drinker and Chapter’s structure helped me stop drinking as I had something to look forward to the night before. I went from strength to strength and I don’t drink now, I have come off my medication and I have a relationship with my family and now see my son regularly. I now attend the Board meetings, take part in interviews and attend the steering group meetings and I have become a mentor at Chapter to help others like myself. Chapter feels like a home for me.
“I was referred to Chapter by my CPN and Wendy was allocated as my project worker. I met Wendy on several occasions and she steered me in to the courses that Chapter as doing at the time, and I did the confidence building course and the mentoring course. This has probably been one of the best years of my life because through Chapter I did the mentoring course in December last year and then Chapter gave me the opportunity to do have my first mentee which has been a big success. And I’m still volunteering at the allotment on a Friday every week and now the Arts and Crafts on a Tuesday.”