The following is a testimony from an individual using Touchstone’s Peer Led Brokerage Service. This person has a diagnosis of Schizoaffective disorder, anxiety and suspicious personality which has resulted in being sectioned and detained numerous occasions for long periods of time since 2000. The state of her accommodation was highlighted as one of her Psychosocial stresses and relapse indicators. The referral to Touchstone asked us to help source carpets for her flat and a garden maintenance service. She gave permission for us to share her story.

I’ve been really well. I haven’t been admitted [to hospital] for some time now. Since I had these carpets fitted, my uncle gave me two couches and I feel comfortable and warmer at home. A friend came to help me re-arrange my home – it is exactly how I want it now.
There has been a big reduction in the medication that I have to take. The side affects are a lot less now. I don’t shake like I used to either.
My grandma passed away a few months ago and through that difficult time I’ve got back in touch with my family. I go to see my mum every month who lives in Brighouse and my sister who lives in Elland. We have the odd arguments but that’s family life I guess.
I try to spend as much time as I can with my grandad. I usually go to stay with him at his caravan. I feel so guilty I didn’t spend enough time with my grandma because I was so ill. I am glad that I am well enough to spend time with my grandad though.
The council come and cut the grass but that’s all they did. The garden is too big for me to keep up with. The leaves and overgrown trees make it hard for me to get in and out of my house. I have fallen on the slippery leaves before now. Since my garden now gets cleared up, I haven’t had any problems with it. They come to do it whether I’m at home or not – they don’t even knock on my door, which I prefer.
I would like to do an aromatherapy and massage course at college. I want to be able to help other people and give them different therapies when they are struggling and when they are unwell. I know that it is a big step for me but I would like to do these courses. My Care Co-ordinator is supporting me in trying to look at shorter courses I might be able to do at the Recovery College.
I have been sectioned 18 times and it has been really hard but I feel a lot better in myself these days. My partner is really good. I’ve been with him for about 3 years now he is really supportive. I guess it makes a difference coz he’s a nurse and understands mental health pretty well.
I am thankful to everyone who has helped me to get to this stage in my life. The future looks much brighter and I know I will be ok coz I have good support around me.