A Journey of Wellbeing: Tim's Story Our second story on how the Wellbeing Programme is helping with mental health issues comes from Tim who joined our new wellbeing programme in Swindon. In his story, Tim shares with us how the programme is giving him a new lease on life. Tim’s story of faith and hope Tim is one of our newest participants, having joined the Swindon Wellbeing Programme only two months ago following the recommendation made to him by the local mental health service. He was suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the sudden accidental deaths of this mother and son seven years ago; both passed away within months of each other making 2010 a very difficult year for him. Tim was left feeling suicidal and at risk of self-harm. With the help of mental health professionals at Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), Tim was able to start dealing with the stress, which he discovered stemmed further back as a result of years of abuse he endured during childhood. He says: “I hadn’t sorted out my childhood issues, and it all came out when I was dealing with the more recent issues of losing my mother and son.” He is full of praise for the mental health service and for how they have supported him, saying, “They have been brilliant”. It was AWP who suggested he might benefit from joining the Wellbeing Programme, and since then he hasn’t looked back. “Since joining the programme, my confidence is coming back and is growing. I am also communicating with people now, something I hadn’t done for a while. Being involved with the group has made me more socially active.” “I find being out in nature very therapeutic; I like the wildlife that surrounds me; it puts me at peace and reduces my stress levels.” “Since being on the programme I feel that mentally and physically my wellbeing has improved. I would like to return to work next year – I used to be a counsellor, but gave that up in 2010 due to the PTSD. I don’t think I would return to the same line of work though, and think I would prefer to work outdoors, in agriculture or gardening.” Tim is feeling the benefits of being on the Wellbeing Programme and says to anyone considering joining, “Don’t be frightened to come out with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. The people on the programme are very open and warm, and very welcoming. You’re not judged; you’re taken as an individual and treated with respect.” In three words Tim summarises what the programme means to him: “faith and hope”. Name has been changed. Get in touch If you feel you would benefit from joining the programme, or know someone who might benefit, please get in touch with us. We run groups in Wiltshire and Swindon. Call the office on 01380 736 098 or email us for more information.