Befriending can tackle isolation by helping to build life skills

I suffer from Schizophrenia and Depression. So it was suggested that I should join the Befriending Scheme, to overcome my problems of isolation, low self-esteem, poor social skills, lack of confidence and motivation.

At work I would concentrate on the job, working by myself, taking no breaks and not talking to anyone. Then when at home, living by myself, I would go to bed, turning night into day which meant that I had poor attendance at work. The entire weekend was spent in bed, watching TV, listening to my CD’s or spending time on my computer, with no interest in going out.

This has changed as a result of befriending – going out once a week to meet someone who cares about my wellbeing, in social settings has encouraged me to go out more. The advice given to me on how to think positively has built up my confidence, so that I now go on work’s outings and parties.

I no longer stay in bed. I am in my work on time and get up at 9 am at weekends, to visit (my sibling) in another town. My job performance, once rated poor, is now classed as excellent, because I now joke with workmates and help them out if they have a difficult task.

All of this is an outcome of befriending – tips on how to share common interests, how to keep a conversation going and setting myself goals – by taking things one step at a time. This has been the type of advice given by my befriender.

Tags: Befriending, Depression, Isolation and Loneliness, Schizophrenia