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Your spotlight on local services

Residents tell health chiefs about life with long term mental illness

29/06/2017

Residents shared their moving experiences of living with long term mental health needs at the health and wellbeing board in June.

Two patients, supported by Healthwatch Hackney, used the board's 'community voice' slot to talk about those services that had helped them and what could be improved.

One patient described the challenges of living with border line personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder while caring for other family members.

She praised City and Hackney Mind for their support but stressed the importance of access to regular ongoing therapy to help her manage crises and 'carry on' with life.

She explained how 'panic sets in' when a course of therapy came to an end.

Another patient spoke movingly about the 'horrendous' experience of living in a local homeless hostel with severe depression.

He described how a toxic combination of depression, poor living conditions, threats of violence from other residents and insomnia had resulted in an overdose.

The patient, now in more stable housing, urged the council to improve training for staff who come into contact with people with mental health needs.

He said staff needed to be more understanding not dismiss people's mental health conditions 'out of hand'.

He praised City and Mind advocates for their 'amazing' support.

Their stories will be included in our special report on mental health and homelessness which will be published later this summer.

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