"I'm much nicer to myself now. I'm kinder, I'm more understanding that it doesn't matter if I don't have the perfectly cleaned house. I'm worth it, and I'm doing the best that I can."
I found out about Neami PARC facility from the Northern Hospital, when I was in the psychiatric unit there. I was a bit unwell and went into hospital and stayed there for about a week. That's when they recommended PARC. It was welcoming and peaceful. Very very different from the hospital. It was more relaxed.
They let me run a session one morning, I wanted to get everyone up and dancing to a motivational song
There were different sessions where we learned about medication, about how to support ourselves and how to look out for ourselves when we're struggling. We could also have one-on-ones with the support workers. Sometimes there'd be other groups like gardening or people would get together and do art stuff. They let me run a session one morning, I wanted to get everyone up and dancing to a motivational song and they allowed that.
In the afternoons we would get together, cook dinner, eat dinner together, have a house meeting, and then some of us would watch TV and a movie together. It was all up to you how much you wanted to participate in any part of it. You could come to the group and just listen, you could come to the group and talk.
The Neami workers were great. I never felt judged by them. I felt they always listened. If you had a conversation about something they’d come back to you later with some resources to help you and they'd just make time for you. You just felt like you were really being looked after.
I'm much nicer to myself now. I'm kinder, I'm more understanding
I do find it challenging too though, in PARC you're so supported and when you're at home you're kind of by yourself even though you've got your partner. I just take every day as it comes. I do use mindfulness at times, or art therapy.
I'm much nicer to myself now. I'm kinder, I'm more understanding that it doesn't matter if I don't have the perfectly cleaned house. I'm worth it, and I'm doing the best that I can.
Take a break to get well
Short-term, residential services can help to avoid hospitalisation or provide support to transition back into the community following hospitalisation.