How a self-management course changed my life

Lily is a University student and mother who completed a self-management course to take control of her mental health. As part of our latest appeal, presented by actor Nigel Planer on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 6 April at 7:55am and 9:26pm, she shares her experience.

"I was living in a homeless hostel with no ambition or future goals when I was directed towards a self-management course.

When I was 19 I dropped out of college, I had Bipolar Disorder and was living in a homeless hostel. I had no ambition or future goals and I tried to take my own life. When I was directed towards a self-management course, as nothing else had helped, I decided to give it a go.

My life changed dramatically because of the course and apart from maybe a couple of issues with stress management and slight anxiety, I have not suffered from mental health problems since being on the course. I was taught techniques to deal with my problems, and other useful things like how to set goals. I use what I was taught quite often, now mainly when trying to help other people that I know who suffer from mental health problems.

A large positive effect that being involved with the course had was helping me to understand my mental health as well as giving me the confidence to talk about it with people without fearing the stigma that is attached. I thought that a specific course for young people would be even more beneficial as young people would feel more comfortable talking about their experiences with other people their own age.

After being on the course I had the confidence to become a facilitator and share everything I’d learnt to help other young people. I was trained to become a facilitator and delivered three courses to other young people. It felt really good to pass on what I’d learnt to other people, and I know it helped them to know that I really understood what they’d been going through.

I'm happy for people to read about my past history and mental health – it doesn't faze me in the slightest! Hopefully, it may help people going through the same thing. The courses work, they are amazing! It's strange to think that I had tried to commit suicide a matter of weeks before attending the course and now my life has been perfect since! I owe a lot to the self-management course.”