Posted on: 8 May 2024

Linda.JPGOver the past three years, Linda has used her local Community Mental Health Team (Regent’s Health Primary Care Network) where she was assigned a care coordinator and peer support worker. She also received inpatient care at Vincent Square Eating Disorders Services.

Despite the challenges she has faced, Linda has spoken of the “solace” she found in the consistent and personalised care provided by these services, even after her formal engagement with them had technically ended.

Reflecting on her moments of greatest need, Linda recounts her time at Regents Health where she was offered Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for her OCD: “I was regularly monitored and helped by staff who referred me to specialist OCD inpatient services. They restored me to a healthy body mass index which allowed me to respond better to treatment and therapy.”

Through these interventions, Linda's wellbeing has undergone a profound transformation: "My wellbeing has improved since using these services […] I've been given tools to help me stay strong despite difficulties. and I remain hopeful even when times are challenging."

The conclusion of formal treatment does not signify an end to Linda’s connection with these services: "I still have regular appointments with Regent’s Health and Vincent Square to check in on my progress and help me get back to living a fulfilled and happier life." She eagerly anticipates the next chapter of her journey; one that includes meeting an employment specialist within CNWL.

Amidst her interactions with healthcare professionals, one individual stood out for Linda – Blagica Stojceska, affectionately known as Bagi. Linda recalls Bagi being “assigned as my peer support worker […] Through her own lived experience, she gave me ideas, motivation, and hope to engage with activities in life. She encouraged me throughout my treatment and kept in contact with me when I was an inpatient at both Vincent Square and the OCD specialist inpatient services."

Linda’s experiences with Blagica and beyond speak to the positive impact peer support workers can have in a community mental health setting for those most in need.