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My encounter with Mental Health

by Anna Richardson

This morning I was walking down the path that runs behind Stafferton Way car park when I heard loud shouting and screaming. My instant reaction was to turn around and walk back the long way as I was heading to Homebase but something stopped me.

When I reached the multi-story car park I saw a lady shouting at a man, they also had a sleeping baby in a push chair.
 
I decided not to walk in their direction but to continue down the side of the car park when I suddenly heard even more shouting, and possibly physical actions. With a racing heart I turned back to see what had happened only to find the young woman on the floor crying.

I said I knew it was none of my business but carefully asked if I could help. She proceeded to scream ‘go away leave’ to the man, so I told him to leave and take the baby (still unsure of what I was going to do) and he left.

 
I asked if I could approach her to rub her back and help her to calm down. She was in such a state. She told me that she has metal health problems and had just been discharged from hospital and relocated to Maidenhead from Oxford. She know’s no one here and hasn’t been given any sort of follow up or continued help/support.
 
I was at a complete loss as to what to do. I offered to take her somewhere, sit with her, anything, but she was just saying she has noone and couldn‘t ask for help as social services would take her baby away. By this time another lady joined us. She continued to cry, and tell us she has no one, her partner didn’t care, and so on. She said no one cares. I told her that I care otherwise I wouldn’t have stopped. I got her up off of the floor and gave her a hug.
 
I firmly but softly told her that she needed to calm down, if not for herself then for her son. I also told her that her partner was possibly finding it very difficult to know what to do to help her as I am sure a lot of men would. Finally I felt left with no other option but to write down my name and number and tell her if she needed someone then I am here, if she needed me to take her to get help then to call me, if she needed someone to talk to over the phone then to call.
 
She started crying even more and told me that it took a brave person to stop and try to help. I am not looking for praise but wanted to share this experience of a true life mental health situation that was presented to me.
 

This possibly could have turned out differently but if we can all show a small amount of compassion, understanding, and empathy to people that suffer with mental health issues then we are all doing something to help.

 
So the next time you see or hear screaming, shouting, or what is deemed to be ‘off behaviour’ if you don’t feel like you can intervene in the situation then just try applying one of the above 3 as people don’t choose to suffer with mental health. It is a very dark place to be and sometimes no matter how hard they try they just can’t combat it.
 
Everyone should remember that there is always someone that cares! Have a great day guys! ❤️ xx

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