Bridget is 53 years old, with Fibromyalgia and insulin resistant Diabetes. Bridget was the primary carer for her mum, who suffered from cancer and heart conditions. Despite professionals informing Bridget of the status of her mother’s deteriorating condition, Bridget maintained that she would get better.

Bridget’s mother died in 2016. Bridget hit rock bottom and felt like her whole world had been ripped apart. Bridget was self-neglecting, she would barely ate, drank and did not take her medication. Bridget also began having thoughts of committing suicide.

After Bridget’s niece forced her to see the doctor, she was put on medication, had access to the crisis team and began counselling. However her condition worsened and shortly after Bridget started having dissociative episodes.

Bridget connected with POhWER through the self-advocacy course at the Recovery College. In partnership with Bridget, POhWER established a local EmPOhWER group (peer advocacy). Bridget has said these groups have made her more confident to ask for help, for example she is no longer afraid to speak to her GP. Bridget said it is hard to make friends when you have mental health, but at the EmPOhWER group they understand what you are going through, friendship and support is easy. Bridget has said this group is special because you don’t need a letter from your GP, you can just come and there is no judgement.