Your donation this Rosh Hashanah will help provide practical help and support to over 1300 people like Sharon

Sharon, a Jami service user, plagued by debilitating anxiety and panic attacks, was introduced to Alyson, a Jami peer support worker who worked with Sharon to help rebuild her confidence and self-esteem.

A mutual appreciation for the written word led to Sharon joining a creative writing group at Jami’s Head Room Café. Alyson knows that writing in a safe group environment enables people to capture thoughts and feelings that they would be unwilling to share through an open conversation.

Sharon said “the feeling of accomplishment and liberation I’ve gained through writing has given me the courage to be around people again. I am so grateful for the writing group; it has brought me out of myself and I look forward to it so much.”

Sharon reading an extract from her poetry at Head Room Café

The creative writing group now meets up independently on a regular basis. Sharon is not only participating in the group but also volunteering to lead a group of creative writers at Jami’s Finchley Hub.

25% of us at any one time will experience a mental health problem. In Sharon’s case, her struggle with depression led to social isolation and a loss of self-esteem.

Sharon was an experienced project manager working within the IT industry, she lived independently, enjoyed walking and helped family and friends when needed. Mental illness was something she had never considered would affect her.

It was while helping an elderly relative that her life changed. She fell head over heels three times down a flight of stairs fracturing her spine and hitting her head numerous times. She still finds it difficult to talk about this horrific accident.

The head trauma and emotional impact had an immediate and long-lasting effect on her life.

“Mental illness could arrive on your doorstep at any time”

Sharon’s confidence was shattered. Routine actions became a nightmare. Making a phone call, cleaning her flat and participating in conversations became impossible due to her debilitating anxiety and panic attacks, which led to her becoming reliant on her ageing parents and unable to work.

Sharon had heard of Jami but was unsure of how the organisation might be able to help her in her situation. She told us that she, “actually found the first call to Jami very easy as there was no judgement, no confrontation. The joy of Jami was finding people who understand… holding me up when I need extra support”

“I’m actually quite annoyed with my past self”, said Sharon with a grin, “mental illness could arrive on your doorstep at any time – you don’t know who will need the support of Jami and when, I never considered it. For me, the joy of Jami was finding people who understand. They are the walking stick for my mind, holding me up when I need extra support. They have given me hope”.

“…The joy of Jami was finding people who understand… holding me up when I need extra support”

Jami provides practical help and support to recover a meaningful life to over 1300 people, like Sharon, every year. This Rosh Hashanah, please enable Jami to keep giving hope and support by making a donation.

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