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Laura’s story

I want people to remember that they’re never on their own

I became ill when I was 18. I was in my second year of college and burning the candle at both ends, I was up all night studying for exams and I ended up having a breakdown, I think it was an overload of everything and I ended up being hospitalised.

My family’s support has been so important, they know me inside out, I’m very close to my family and love spending time with them, especially my niece Seren. My partner has also been very supportive which helps so much. I’ve had a lot of support from Platfform over the years where I’ve been involved with the Pathways project and I know I can check in with the staff whenever I need.

I’ve always worked despite struggling with my mental health. Over the years I’ve learned that I need routine and structure to stay well.

Julie at Platfform helped me recently with a redeployment at work as I needed a role that allowed me to have a more balanced lifestyle. Julie accompanied me to the Occupational Health meetings to help us work out what I needed. We made sure that my shift patterns were suitable for me, I work a set pattern of hours now which helps me to manage my mental health.

I’ve accepted that this illness is part of me and I’ve learned from it big time. I had to really persevere with the medication as it took a long time to find the right balance for me.

I’ve also recently learned not to worry so much and live for today – I know it sounds cheesy but it really helps me. I like to play bowls in my free time, a friend suggested that I try it so I gave it a go and actually really enjoy it.

I’ve tried so many things since being in touch with Platfform, I think you’ve just got to try it! It’s really helpful to focus your energy on something different.

The main thing I think people need to remember when they become unwell is that they’re never on their own.

I’ve also learned to not assume that people will criticise me. From my experience I always expected people to criticise me but in reality people were really caring and wanted to help.

Platfform has really helped me to regain my independence after I became unwell. When you get ill you can forget who you are but working with Platfform has helped bring me back to myself and taught me to laugh and smile again.