I have had an interest in mental health for many years, having struggled with my own mental health for so long.
My experience with mental health has meant I’ve suffered with long and difficult bouts of depression and this has been difficult to manage given the cause has been my physical health.
I’ve struggled with alcoholism, anxiety and had a complete breakdown in 2015.
I have had a lot of help and support including using some of Norfolk and Waveney Mind’s services and I have had numerous sessions of counselling.
Today, I’m largely better. I’m more content with my mental health and how I’m feeling.
I find myself knowing when it’s starting to slip and immediately reach out for either peer support or I’ll call upon tried and tested self help to help myself cope.
I decided to firstly volunteer for Norfolk and Waveney Mind as a way of giving back, a way of supporting others.
I felt I could offer an empathetic ear. I’ve huge passion, enthusiasm and energy. I feel people appreciate I’m there to support them and I can offer positive thoughts and messages of support and encouragement to let someone know I care and that they don’t have to struggle alone.
My interests are mainly suicide prevention and men’s mental health. I see these two as being the biggest challenge and where change and support is needed the most. I strive to make a difference in people’s lives and just by simply asking someone if they are ok, or if they need to express themselves that they have someone in me that cares.
I have developed a peer support network numbering around 30.
All these people don’t need support all the time and I often won’t hear from them for several months. I feel comfortable knowing that they are either ok or seeking further help or support from others.
Others need a lot more support from me and I’ll often be supporting people late at night or early in the morning, especially if they are expressing suicidal thoughts or in a dark place.
I believe in recovery as I’ve made huge steps forward with my own mental health and I’ll never forget those that have helped me. When I receive messages of thanks and messages telling me I’ve made a difference it is those messages that keep me pushing forward and continuing to do what I can to raise awareness around mental health.
Becoming an Ambassador was a huge honour and a privilege and gave me the opportunity to network and meet with some amazing people and raise some money for Norfolk and Waveney Mind.
Given the challenge around COVID-19 and how many more people need help and support just keeps me focused and I have renewed energy to support and help as many people as I can.
If you ever need someone to talk to, always reach out. I’ll listen, anytime.
- Sarah Webb, Ambassador | Norfolk and Waveney Mind
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