It’s a new feeling – embrace it, you deserve it

Throughout this week, we have been sharing Letters of Hope as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Here, Latoya shares what she would tell herself if she had a chance to go back to a time when she was struggling with her mental health…

Dear Latoya,

You’ve been through a lot in what seems like forever – from residential care to being in and out of hospital, it’s been tough. Just know, it may not seem like it now but things will get better.

The residential home that you are living in is very closed up and not nice at all – the staff aren’t helpful in the situation either, shouting at you and keeping your personal possessions from you. Over the years, you will struggle with the medication you will be taking. You’ll be in and out of hospital for more than 10 years and will be looking for an escape…

Your life will turn around for the better once you move into the house in Lambeth – a house you will share with 11 other women. You’ll finally feel like this place is right for you. You really like your new home, especially the garden with trees that go way back in time and seem like they are standing there with you through your journey. The move will give you the confidence and support to sort out what you want to do with your life. The staff here will be dignified, sociable, helpful and support you to the fullest – an enormous difference from your experience at the residential home.

You will finally see that there’s a good road ahead for you – no one shouting or ordering you around. Don’t give up, stay strong. Things are already beginning to look up.

The experience at your new home will be a positive one, you will feel more independent than you have in a very long time. You will even be given the chance to wash your own clothes – the first time in three years!

You will be doing really well for yourself – joining many group activities and go back to college for some exciting courses. You will hugely benefit from the freedom given to you. There will always be someone there to support you when you need it. For the first time, you will have people who will help you out of their own goodness if you were ever to find yourself in trouble. It’s a new feeling – embrace it, you deserve it.


A much happier and freer Latoya