Once again, the LRC team joined with the Psychology Department and Suffolk Libraries Mental Health Co-ordinator David Grimmer to run the Living Library event for One students this summer.
Psychology students learn about living with a mental health disorder by meeting, listening to and questioning “human books” – volunteers who give up their time to explain about their mental condition. Books on offer this year included:
Behind the Façade
Most people who know me would probably describe me as confident, outgoing, and generally pretty upbeat. However, my book is about what is going on behind the mask.
I was first referred to mental health services nearly 11 years ago, at the age of 17, and remained under them until last year, when I was discharged. Over that period I collected a range of diagnoses, including depression, Borderline Personality Disorder, and both Anorexia and Bulimia. I have attempted suicide multiple times, been admitted to psychiatric hospitals, taken many medications, and seen countless psychiatrists and other professionals.
“Coping after Granny went”
My name is Matthew and I am 36 years old. I was a Veterinary Nurse for 18 years.
After a short spell in hospital I then moved into 24hour Supported Accommodation in 2011.
This is my story!…….
Am I Allowed?
My story is about being placed in inappropriate institutions for much of my early life. I was born on 9/10/1948 and placed in care the very next day. I have paraplegia in my left side. When I left school I was placed in a hospital for the mentally subnormal. I was there for many years. It was a horrible place, I was treated very badly. I felt that I must have done something really bad to have been put there. With the help of a good social worker I got out. I got my own place to live, I got married. I have been involved with ACE (an advocacy organisation for People with Learning Disabilities) for many years. I am also an Ambassador for People with Learning Disabilities in Suffolk. Because of what happened to me I want to make a difference. “Do a job properly, don’t do it for yourself, do it for other people”
Because I’m happy
I hope you are – but if your levels are sagging a bit, we’re the people to get you happy, happy, happy again. We all get down and out, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, let’s just work together to get you back up where you belong!
Suffolk Wellbeing Service is NHS and free for everyone and offers psychological – talking – therapies in groups and one-to-one. So if your worry is managing exam stress, you could do with some confidence and assertiveness, or perhaps your self-esteem is going through a slack patch, we’ve a workshop for you (including one on Happiness!) – and you don’t have to go anywhere, we’ll come right into your classroom.
One College is very grateful to the volunteers who gave up their day to spend time with our students. Students found the sessions enlightening, very moving and gained a real insight to living with a mental health disorder.