What can help
What can help

Storytelling is one of the foundations of our culture. We can create connections by sharing stories – especially those that offer inspiration and hope. Recovery in mental health is not always well understood; sharing your story makes personal recovery come alive. It also supports values and strengthens lessons learned from life experiences. It helps to build community and create connections.

You can find lots of inspirational stories; use the search bar at the top to find stories relevant to you. To return to this page after a search, please press the back button in your browser.

Alternatively if you are a registered student and would like to write your story and want to share it, please contact us. You can read about other students experiences on our testimonials page and learn more about getting involved on our student development programme page.

How being on the student development programme has helped my personal recovery

30 May 2022

How being on the student development programme has helped my personal recovery

What encouraged you to join the college?

I was having suicidal thoughts and the GP offered me anti-depressants, which I didn’t feel was the right option for me. The GP told me he wouldn’t help someone who wouldn’t help themselves and, at the time, this angered me because I felt the GP had a responsibility to help me and I didn’t find his response helpful. I was given the details to self-refer to the wellbeing team and it was in the waiting room at St Pauls I saw a leaflet for the college. And it clicked. The GP was right. I joined the college because they were offering me the opportunity to help myself to take control of my mental health. And it was the GP’s comments that made me apply.

What does it mean to you to be a student and how did our courses help your mental health and wellbeing?

To me being a student meant coming to the college to learn self-management techniques and to be reminded about the importance of taking care of myself. I learned that I was struggling to accept my situation and I was angry. This made it difficult to have good relationships with others. The courses helped me with self-acceptance, depression and encouraged a lot of self-development; which has resulted in better clarity, more resilience and the ability to set boundaries and repair relationships.

What course had the biggest impact on your personal recovery and why?

The pressures of daily living course helped me to see that I was creating my own stress and putting pressure on myself to be perfect; which was unachievable. The second was the understanding depression course, because I took this at the end of the term and by that point, I identified that when I started my recovery journey I was showing and feeling all the symptoms related to depression, and at the time of taking the depression course, i realised I was no longer depressed and I saw how far I had come and how much better I was feeling. This was really uplifting and gave me for the first time a real sense of hope for the future.

Why did you join the student development programme and what did you hope to gain from it?

I joined the student development programme because I wanted to give back to the community and learn how to share my story in a positive way to inspire others. My negative experiences have helped create a new purpose for me.

What activities have you been involved with and how has it supported your personal recovery?

I started at the college by writing for the college blog. Because of my educational background, I was offered an opportunity to take more of a hands-on role within the college, which has led to a permanent role. I’m learning a tremendous amount of soft skills, such as communication skills as well as skills necessary for me to complete the role. And the best bit about this is that I’m getting involved in lots of exciting and challenging projects, including creative work which wouldn’t be possible without the college offering me these opportunities.