Paul’s Story

Paul’s Story

Since becoming a friend and volunteer with PLUS Perth Mental Health Charity in Perth around 3 and a half yrs ago my life has changed from being an alcoholic depressive not holding much hope for my future to someone who awakes every morning with confidence, soulful spirituality and a zest for life that I haven’t known since childhood, when everyday has an excitement around it, and any fears we may have are small, manageable, fleeting and faced head on with humour and faith in our capabilities.

Things weren’t always this way and I won’t bore you with details, go ask someone suffering depression or a performing alcoholic.

I will say that PLUS has given me the opportunity to be involved in community projects alongside other volunteers, enabling me to build on my recovery by taking part in varied activities and talking to others who understand, from experience, some of my concerns regarding mental health issues and addiction.

I have been involved with attending many mental health and addiction conferences, (see INSPIRAL for addiction info) I have attended a residential mental health awareness and confidence building coarse on the Isle of Lewis lasting 1 week called ‘Hearing Voices’ run by Ron Coleman, and paid for by PLUS, which moved me forward in my recovery big time.

I have certificates in Mental Health First Aid, Mental Health Recovery ‘WRAP’ training, ‘safeTALK’ suicide awareness, administration training, and have learned other new skills from taking part in gardening projects, attending the PLUS ‘drop in’, IT skills, art, poetry, photography, ‘Walled Garden’ activity and much more. Everyone involved with PLUS is friendly, empathetic and there is much smiling and laughter.

I am not taking part as much as I once was because of college commitments, being near the end of my second year on a Health and Social Care course, and soon to be working at Upper Springland Capability Scotland as a relief worker.

I truly believe if I hadn’t stumbled across PLUS at the time I did I would not be as far along the road in my recovery as I now find myself. I recommend getting involved with PLUS for anyone looking for some stability and direction.

With much thanks to PLUS members and staff for making me so welcome and helping me to smile again and giving me back my self respect.