10th Anniversary of mental health support in Warminster
By wp_alistair | Monday, May 07, 2012, 21:49
A leading mental health charity is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its accommodation service for people with mental illness.
10th Anniversary of Rethink in Warminster
Rethink Mental Illness has been running its supported accommodation service in the centre of Warminster since 2002.
Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness. The charity directly supports almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone.
The charity provides accommodation and support for people with mental illness who might otherwise be in hospital or homeless. Staff help residents to learn skills so they can eventually live independently. People set their own goals and try to improve their quality of life.
The house is a home from home. It has communal lounges, a kitchen, six individual rooms and a garden.
Jason Bishop, 34, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was 15. Since then he had spent his time in and out of psychiatric hospitals. When he was 30 he was referred to the service. He says: "The people there were extremely supportive and taught me life skills such as cooking and looking after myself both mentally and physically. They also helped me find a job as a volunteer.
"After two years there I felt that I could take responsibility for my life. I have been living independently, albeit with a few hours support a week, for 18 months now and I'm very happy."
Central to the recovery of people like Jason are the hardworking staff. Richard Bartholomew has worked for Rethink Mental Illness for over three years. He says: "Our aim is to empower people to manage their condition themselves as far as possible. For example, we help them socialise, find work and cook healthily.
"Being a mental health worker is a very inspirational job and we're proud of what we have achieved in ten years. It's rewarding to know that mental illness does not have to mean the end of someone's hopes and dreams."