Recovery stories – Shouvik - Video

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Recovery stories – Shouvik (Video file)

Recovery stories – Shouvik

Shouvik Datta's inspirational story charts his journey from mental illness to a fulfilling life teaching English as a foreign language that has so far taken him to South Korea and Prague in the Czech Republic.

Hello, my name is Shouvik Datta. I teach English as a foreign language and I use Oxleas services.

I first became ill around 1998. I started to think people were talking about me and that the Government was out to get me. I went to see a psychiatrist but I didn’t accept the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

My illness got worse. I left work, and a couple of years later I was sectioned and admitted to hospital. It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but I started taking medication and using the occupational therapy services. These really helped me to become less alienated.

When I left hospital I started attending Horizon House regularly. It’s a clubhouse that supports people recovering from mental illness and arranges work placements for them. The placements were very important in helping me to build my confidence and communicate with people around me.

I decided to take a course in teaching English as a foreign language and when I passed applied for work abroad. This led to a job in a state elementary school in Incheon, South Korea. This was a really positive experience. I was able to use and develop my teaching skills, make friends and do completely new things like acting in a play and white water rafting. It was challenging, but it really built my confidence about what I was capable of.

Since then I’ve worked back in England and taught English in Prague to professionals at European and American companies and at a state secondary school.

My experiences have taught me that I can communicate with people from different cultures whose first language is not English and that they are interested in me as a person. This has given me self-confidence and I’m looking forward to new challenges in the future.