Support group - a lady supports another lady while she talks to the groupCarol has OCD, anxiety and panic attacks. She had a lot of childhood trauma and her mental state has worsened as she has got older. Carol can spend up to 3 hours doing her ‘checks’ before bed, this makes her feel safe. Carol’s symptoms worsen in certain environments e.g. in small spaces such as lifts and near water. Carol has social anxiety which makes it difficult for her to meet and talk to new people, especially giving eye contact. Carol finds it very difficult to handle money as a result of her schooling and past abuse. She is fully dependent on her husband for shopping and paying for anything.

Carol joined the EmPOhWER group and asked for help to be more independent. At the group meetings, POhWER supported her to develop her money handling skills and reduce her anxiety around shopping. This included role-play exercises, money games/activities and goal setting with gradual exposure. As a result Carol managed to go to the shop and pay for an item independently.

Being part of the group has also helped Carol to reduce her levels of social anxiety as the group meetings provide a safe environment to meet new people with similar experiences.

Carol said "I can relax and feel safe at the group, you can trust the people there. The group makes me feel a lot better about my mental illness. You can relate and talk to people who understand. I am so happy they have helped me to go shopping on my own, thank you!"