My name is Ikhtsham Lone. I’m a young man from Chapel Allerton and throughout my life, I had to live through somebody who was living with a mental illness.
Things got so bad that it slightly broke the family apart. I ended up moving out but still went to visit my mother who was living with the mental illness. I eventually started realising the changes in her moods when she got in touch with Touchstone. I started to ask more questions about what was going on in the sessions. She told me that she just felt like a human being and got treated like an equal.
When she was there the family started to slowly come back together. She still had the same problems on going, but it was calming down and you could see the effects sinking in how Touchstone was helping her and in turn helping us to cope.
After my mother passed away I began thinking about how I could help other people in the way Touchstone helped my mother and my family become a family again. Months and months passed. I was slowly starting to give up but after reading Friday prayers I met Stephanie Lewis and got my calling.
Some stuff didn’t work out like I missed a couple of meetings but Stephanie didn’t give up on me. We ended up meeting when she had a stall in the Civic Hall and we took it from there and I got put on a course on Understanding Mental Health in the Muslim Community and joined the project called Islam and Mental Health.
As I finished the course I got called for the Touchstone AGM. I gave a brief story on my experiences. After the AGM I began to lose motivation until I got called by Stephanie and she told me there was a job at Touchstone that was doing something I might enjoy as it related very much to my life and so might be something I was interested in. I took a look at it, quickly got the application done with help and sent it off.
And it brought me to where I am today. Thank you Stephanie Lewis the angel that looked out for me and didn’t give up on me even when I was losing confidence in myself. Now I am about to start as a Peer Advisor in the ‘Shafa’ project working at Touchstone and feeling good about myself.
Touchstone Annual Review 2015-2016