News from Befrienders Dublin
Members’ testimony #1
I first got involved with the befriending service in January 2008. My mental health had deteriorated in the summer of 2007 and I had a nervous breakdown. I ended up in St Ita’s hospital where Ann came in to give a talk. I liked what I heard, as I had been involved with a bad crowd who used me and treated me badly. So, I found it hard to trust people and was in a tight spot.
Befriending got me out of this tight spot and I began to start trusting people again. I formed new friendships. I met a girl who I am now going out with. This in turn built my confidence, self-belief and ability to realise I had something to offer the world after my bad experience with friends in the past.
I could be myself and developed as an individual socially and personally, as I had become very outgoing, bubbly, full of life and finally became confident in myself to be myself around other people. I wasn’t afraid to speak up and just talk freely without having to watch my Ps & Qs.
Member’s testimony #2
I have (had) mental health problems off and on for about the past 14 years. I heard about the befriending service when I saw a poster in The Mornington Centre window in Artane. At first, I didn’t think much of it, but my mother went back to the centre the following day to ask the staff some questions about the befriending service.
I joined the befriending (service) on 13th of February 2012 and I’ve never looked back. They have helped me make new friends and build my confidence. They run social clubs for people with mental health issues. It is great to get out to do activities and meet new people.
Members’ testimony #3
I suffered from panic and depression since I was 16, but 3 children and life experiences (like) stress, unemployment, death. Later and in recovery from addiction which I used to mask my symptoms, lead me to several suicide attempts and eventually a mental physical breakdown.
I was admitted to hospital and mental health services who recommended when I was attending a day centre to avail of the befriending service in my area. I was shy, nervous, insecure and totally not confident, but I went.
The first night there, I told myself to just give it a few weeks. I was willing to do anything that could improve my life and thankfully 3 years later – lots of enjoyable days out, nights out, cups of tea/coffee, sharing experiences and tips-n-hints on healthy living mentally physically from other members, several holidays away in Ireland and lots of chat, support, time, understanding, caring and laughter and fun, I’m still here, Thank God!
I would recommend newcomers to the service to give it a go/chance. This is only my experience and it is a very positive one, so thank you to all the members, staff at our clubs.
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