Experience – Activity Groups

Volunteering – My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner

After graduating with a psychology degree in 2013, I thought employment would naturally follow suit. However, I soon learned that having a good degree on its own was not enough for many employers and what they really valued was experience. I decided the best course of action for me to take in order to obtain this experience was to look into volunteering with local organisations. I was familiar with the services FDAMH provided and thought it would be the ideal place for me to gain practical experience of working with those with mental health problems.

Every volunteer FDAMH takes on is put through a training programme which is an excellent way of preparing you for what your role as a volunteer will entail. After completing the training, I started volunteering at the organisation’s card making group. It is a small and quiet group that focuses on the principles of mindfulness. For me, it was a lovely way to spend some time being creative and help others gain confidence through an activity which they enjoyed. Volunteering, in turn, also gave me confidence and a real sense of purpose. It is so refreshing to feel part of the team at FDAMH too; they really do value their volunteers and offer many beneficial training courses that I ordinarily wouldn’t have had access to.

After just a few short months of volunteering, I was offered a job in FDAMH’S drop-in service as a Health and Wellbeing Support Worker. I am thrilled to be taken on as a member of staff and owe it to my time volunteering in which I gained invaluable experience. To anyone who is considering volunteering, I can’t recommend it highly enough. There are a range of opportunities available at FDAMH to suit whichever area it is you are interested in and the wonderful Morag is on hand to help with any queries you may have. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner!

Tags: Activity Groups, Volunteering
12/01/2016 at 2:19 pm


Depression

I have to say yes to you because you are there
I can’t leave you because you are the cross I have to bear
A death brought you onto my pathway one day
And then mental illness found its way.

Six times without conviction you’ve rattled my cage
I was just an innocent walking you about had me deranged
Those six times I tried to escape
And those six times ended up in rape.

At certain times I’ve tried to come to you
In those god awful moments slit wrists, some kind of over view
One million tablets swallowed, with the hanging ladder intent to die
You’re never ending visits so haunt to make me cry.

You are a never ending circle which consequents doom
An endless merry go round dark with a tomb
Unexpectedly you’ll come round just to say
I’m the bogey man Stephanie. Won’t you come out to play.

Time upon time you prey at my door
You’re the devil incarnate for ever more
Mentally exhausted I’m left licking the wounds
With a heart so darkened I renaign your sounds.

Evil oh evil us mere innocents you rake
You are no 666 but 999 in our emergency how you’d love us to break
But for love of god which passes all understanding
Righteousness mercy just so stops your demanding.

There must come time that will hault your fate
Where depression you will hand with devil your mate
Where hopefully I will be the one left riding
With the god my father in our peaceful perfect chariot
Over a shangrile sky.

This moving poem was written by a member of our Creative Writing Group and was read out live on Radio Royal in 2015.

Tags: Activity Groups, Depression
21/12/2015 at 11:53 am


Embracing new challenges with the Media Group

I first started attending FDAMH with Jane the Link Worker, she came with me to the Next Step group which I thoroughly enjoy.

From there she introduced me to the Media Group, sitting in the room while I was there. After some time I felt able to be in the room with the other people in the group. I found it a bit difficult when new people started coming, they then started to bring other people with mental health problems to the group as well, I really was not in my comfort zone, but unlike other times when I felt uncomfortable in a group I did not run out, that was because I enjoyed it and knew that if I left then the only person to lose out was me.

It was difficult at first but after a couple of weeks I had become used to them and we were starting to talk. Now we are all a group who care for each other.

Not long after that we started to do some drama, I went along to join in the exercises, although I thought I would not take part, but I would like to help in the background. After a couple of weeks the play was written with a part for me and I felt I could not let the group down by not taking part.

Because of this I have gained confidence in talking, and have had to face my fear of people with the help of the group. We did art too and yet again I found that I was more able than I had given myself credit for, that particular piece now has pride of place in my room.

I am looking forward to whatever the group does next, I am sure that it will continue to stretch me to help me to make the most of life

Tags: Activity Groups, Anxiety, Panic
26/05/2014 at 7:30 pm


Our garden

I am 67 years old and have attended Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health since 1982. I was a member when it was at another location and for all them years we have just had a concrete outside area with no flowers or anything. I have always enjoyed gardening and did forestry and farming when I was younger so it was great to be able to take part in making our wonderful garden area. I was able to plant flowers in our raised beds and look after them over the summer. It brightens up the building and gives me something to take pride in and look after. I have also put bird feeders up in the garden now and fill them up every few days as well and it is now lovely to see the garden filled with wildlife and flowers. It is a pleasure to maintain now and I think all members feel the same about it.

Tags: Activity Groups, Drop-In
26/11/2013 at 9:27 pm


Yoga for a calmer and better place

Since I started the yoga class at Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health I have found that it has helped with my fitness and that it also relaxes me. I’ve got lots of things going on in my life at the moment and the yoga class acts as a stress reliever for me. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go to a yoga class anywhere else because of my anxieties but because I attend FDAMH it has given me the confidence to go to the yoga. I don’t feel self conscious and can really enjoy the class. It has made a great difference to my joints and I am able to walk a further distance due to it. It leaves me in a calmer and better place when I have been to the class and I am so thankful it started.

Tags: Activity Groups, Anxiety, Stress
26/11/2013 at 9:16 pm


A recovery journey with FDAMH

I was recently asked this question what does FDAMH mean to you my answer is so totally simple – everything.

Several years ago I was made redundant after serving 40 years in various junior and senior management positions. The effect this had on my life was indescribable I just went into total emotional melt down, I spent the first two years isolating myself in my own home not wanting to speak or see anyone, I never even went beyond my front own door. I could never put into words how black life felt for me at that time.

I was eventually persuaded by my family to see my local GP, he in turn referred me to my local hospital psychiatric department for treatment and after receiving over two years of intense counselling I slowly started to get my life back together. It was decided by the hospital consultants it was time for me to try to get back into a more out door social environment.

My hospital consultant made contact for me with a local help centre called FDAHM this was the first time in more than 4 years I had ventured out into the public domain. On my first day I was welcomed with open arms by the very friendly staff and volunteer members at the FDAHM centre they were so good to me. I was very gently introduced to other members of the drop in group.

One of the first things I noticed about the FDAMH centre and at that time it was so very important to me was I was never made to feel I had to stay there or partake in any group activities. It was so important and reassuring to me at that time knowing that I could come and go and join in as and when I pleased. After the first few weeks of attending the day centre and mainly due to the kind and understanding staff members I slowly started to get my confidence back and started joining in with the many group activities spending a little longer with each time I was there.

After attending the day centre for a short while I asked a member of staff would it be possible for me to receive one to one counselling has I was still finding it hard to deal with my worries and feelings of anxiety and panic attacks. Over a two years period at the FDAHM centre I received two twelve weekly therapy sessions, each of these sessions were of a tremendous help to me giving me both the strength expand my new found confidence and also helping me to feel that I could go on to put my past broken life back on track.

I have always felt even from my early days at the day centre how can I help to repay their kindness. I owe so much to FDAMH and its fabulous full time and most generous volunteering staff, for with their help and understanding they have helped me to turn my life around.

Last year I was asked at the centre if I would like to consider taking part in a short volunteer training course at the centre, I said that I would be very happy to attend. I was thinking that maybe this could be a way of not only helping myself getting back some of my own self-belief but I could also in some little way give help and support to the other day centre drop in group members.I completed this excellent training course which I found to be most interesting and informative.

I have now for several months been running a weekly family history and genealogy group within FDAMH. The members of my group love talking about the old times, it’s a great way to get them communicating to each other, they also love finding old family photos and genealogical records and sharing family history details with each other. I have also found that my family research group is a great way to getting older group members interested in using computers some for the first time, they may find it slow going at first, put are quickly delighted when they find some interesting family details via the Google search engine system.

FDAMH thank you so much for helping me to find my own self confidence and self-belief.

2013

Tags: Activity Groups, Anxiety, Counselling, Drop-In, FDAMH Training, Isolation and Loneliness, Panic, Volunteering
26/11/2013 at 9:12 pm