Paul shares story of struggles and support during Coronavirus crisis

July 2020

For some service users, the change to using technology during the pandemic has been very helpful. Here Paul, who uses our Worthing hub, tells us about his experience.

I have struggled with anxiety and depression for a long time, because of the abuse I suffered when I was young. A few years back I was in contact with West Sussex Mind, which was very helpful then. And after that I reported the abuse to the police.

It took two years to get to court. Just before the court case was going to happen, the police told me my abuser was in palliative care and there wouldn’t be a trial.

That was in July 2019, and I started really struggling because of what happened. I was overthinking and over-analysing everything, especially at night. And I wasn’t talking to anyone. That’s when I asked to be referred back to West Sussex Mind.

I started going to drop-ins at the Gateway in Worthing three times a week. The drop-ins were really beneficial to me and stopped me feeling overwhelmed. I had people to talk to, which was good for me as I struggled to ask for help. But when the lockdown came all that stopped.

Because I have asthma and diabetes I’ve been shielding. I have also been told my sister is terminally ill and I can’t go and see her.

The time I’ve had with Diana and the out of hours service has been brilliant. Diana is contacting me a lot to see if I need more support, because things are much worse for me at night. My contact with her has been more beneficial to me than any support I’ve had before. She is really, really helpful. Like when I was hearing voices she went out of her way to find things for me to read.

I’ve been using the West Sussex Mind out of hours Zoom classes every day. I’ve done mindful breathing, quizzes and relaxation. They have really helped me with my mental health. It gives me an hour a day connecting with other people, otherwise I would be struggling alone.