In a world where mental health challenges are becoming increasingly prevalent, individuals like Richard have embarked on inspiring journeys towards personal growth and empowerment. Richard, now a Community Support Worker at Step One Charity, shares their transformative experience which includes support from our free BeWell@StepOne service. From battling overwhelming mental health issues to finding purpose in helping others, Richard’s story is a testament to the vital role local services play in supporting individuals on their path to recovery.
My name is Richard Gillick, I am a Community Support Worker for Step One Charity age 51 and I live in Exeter.
What was life like before you before you reached out for support from Step One Charity?
My life before I reached out for support was in need of professional guidance as I was truly overwhelmed mentally. I had over the previous few years a manner of mental health breakdowns. The last two were the worst I had ever been and so serious that it eventually got to the point where I no longer had to wait for support from The Devon Partnership Trust. Within my weekly 1-hour sessions I learnt many aspects of self-management/awareness through to wellbeing/tools and worked hard on my own mental health recovery. I was told that I had a high degree of input and absorbing information on the subject due to my lived experience. What I was not expecting was the effect on myself from learning and consistent homework and going to each new session stronger and with more positivity then the last.
From these sessions, a desire to learn more and to eventually help others evolved and my passion now was to understand more and to help others within the mental health spectrum. I enrolled on mental health courses with Kings College in London through early to mid-2022 and more locally, looked to see what I could learn from local organisations including Step One. On the Step One website I found signposting for the BeWell@StepOne courses and workshops. In particular the H.O.P.E course which I signed up to and participated in.
What kind of support did you receive from BeWell@StepOne and how did it help you?
The support I received from BeWell@StepOne was excellent. Both Dom and Barbara were very informative on their approach on the subjects contained in the course and made everyone involved feel very welcome and relaxed. Also, because the group was small, all participants were able to support one another without the need to feel anxious.
Can you describe a specific example of how the support you received impacted your life?
For myself, the way that you can set goals and reward yourself was something that I had not implemented myself. This I do now as I find that it helps setting out long term goals, although as Dom pointed out, we are not to put too much into a goal in the ‘boom’ period of imaginative thinking. This could lead to a term called ‘bust’ where one has taken on too much due to over creating and not planning realistic goals in that time. I have also learnt coping skills for anxiety along with creating coping strategies in the face of being anxious and utilising these tools.
Would you recommend BeWell@StepOne to others who are seeing mental health support?
I now work for Step One Charity and I am very passionate about helping others with the knowledge that I have gained. The charity itself is a wonderful example of how we as individuals challenge the stigma of mental health and work with people to provide support and ongoing assistance. I would easily recommend others to the BeWell@StepOne courses that are available as they provide so much knowledge and help for managing a person’s mental health day to day and that can only be a good thing for those in need.
From my experience of BeWell@StepOne, I cannot thank Dom and Barbara enough for helping me understand myself better. I have used the knowledge they gave me and put this into daily action to manage my own mental health. Also, this has enabled me to work this into care plans with the people whom I support within the community as my role as a Support Worker.