Michael Richardson: Communications & IT Support – PRHA/Grounded Ecotherapy
“I was referred to Grounded Ecotherapy in 2013. At the time I was in recovery from alcohol abuse and had been suffering from anxiety and depression for several years. I joined Grounded as a volunteer. At the time it was a huge, scary commitment for me. I had been very isolated until this point, rarely leaving my flat for weeks on end. Working with the group gave me structure to my day and allowed me to get physical exercise which, as most people know, improves your mental health. The most crucial thing for me though was being able to talk to others who had experienced and in some cases were still experiencing similar difficulties to my own. Being able to talk through issues with others who understood exactly what I was going through was key to my recovery.
I have also been in talking therapy for a number of years. It is not a ‘quick fix’ by any stretch and has been, in parts, exhausting, scary, frustrating, puzzling and has made me very angry at times. But it has also been incredibly rewarding too, when you finally are able to understand and look at your issues from a different perspective and challenge your own way of thinking, which in my case tended to be quite destructive.
Working with Grounded and then PRHA, with all the support that I have received, which has been incredible, has allowed me to progress in my recovery, far beyond what I ever thought possible. It is so important to reach out for help if you are struggling, even if you think that no one can help you. I know that in the beginning it can be intimidating to take that first step, but if you are struggling and can talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling, it could make all the difference. I hope that others who may be struggling with their mental health can reach out for the help that is there.”