Recovery stories - Sue - Video

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Recovery stories - Sue (Video file)

Recovery stories - Sue

Sue talks about her illness and the role that Oxleas' Horizon House - where she now works - played in her recovery.

Hello, my name is Sue Clark and I work at Horizon House as a clubhouse support worker. I’ve also used Oxleas services in the past.

I started to become unwell after marriage problems and my husband’s friendship with another woman. I became obsessed with it and things got worse over two years until finally I started smashing up the house. I was arrested three times in a single week and on the third occasion was sectioned and taken to hospital. There I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and put on medication.

During my six weeks in hospital I realised that if I went home I would get ill again and that I didn’t want to return to someone who had been violent towards me for 25 years. So when I left I went into B&B and then into supported housing.

During this time I was supported by a really good CPN – a community psychiatric nurse – who encouraged me to take up volunteering work. I really enjoy talking to people so the work was fun. It also helped me to develop my interest in mental health as I joined the Service User Council and the Board of Trustees at Bromley Mind, the mental health charity.

Volunteering was also good for my CV – I hadn’t worked since 1977 – and after a year I was able to get a job with Mind and come off benefits. I then got a temporary job with Oxleas at Horizon House - a clubhouse that supports people recovering from mental illness and arranges work placements for them. I took the opportunity to train as a HCA – healthcare assistant; however I didn’t get the chance to use my training as I was offered a contract at Horizon House.

Oxleas has supported me throughout my illness and recovery and now at work. I’m currently enjoying being involved with a group of Horizon House members who visit wards to talk to patients about employment opportunities. I’m also enjoying a new life with my partner.