Brian Testimonial

Testimonial by Brian Gardner

I have been attending the Bowhaven centre for four years and can say that I have benefitted greatly from the services provided to date.

Before being referred by my psychiatrist I was for many years very isolated and alone. I felt excluded by society as, regrettably, there continues to be stigmatisation in regard to mental health issues. I was initially somewhat apprehensive and cynical about attending the Bowhaven, as I had previously suffered a bad experience at another mental health facility in the Borough, where I felt that the staff were unable to deal satisfactorily with mental health issues and therefore failed to provide a safe environment for vulnerable people, who I witnessed being subjected to bullying by other users. 

To my delight, however, I found that the environment at the Bowhaven was welcoming, supportive, professional and non-judgemental; staff are fully cognisant of the need to ensure that all users feel they have a place there and offer encouragement and support without placing undue pressure on users. Furthermore, the art therapy provided has allowed me to explore and develop my own creative skills as a tool for expressing and dealing with my own particular issues. Some four years later I no longer feel excluded from wider society, as I now feel that I have a place. My motivation has much improved and I feel more confident about expressing myself generally. This improvement in my mental wellbeing has only been possible, however, because of my regular attendance at the Bowhaven.