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What is Independent Advocacy

Meet our Volunteers

CAPS’ volunteers bring about change by using their knowledge and valuable lived experience of mental health issues. They participate in collective advocacy projects and get involved in a range of activities such as facilitating groups or evaluating CAPS’ work. Here you can read the stories of two of our volunteers, Gills and Hannah.

Gills’ Volunteering Story

In 2014 I had to give up my dream job.  I worked as an advisory teacher for children with additional support needs and my career was everything I had ever dreamed of.  But the stress of teaching and a triple whammy of psychiatric disorders, namely bipolar disorder, binge eating disorder and pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder meant I eventually had to retire on medical grounds.

I cannot begin to explain the devastation I felt.

Everything I had worked for had been for naught and I had nothing to contribute to society. And I couldn’t bear to part with the teaching resources I had built up.

Hannah’s Volunteering Story

A cartoon image of a young woman.

In 2018, I was given a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. I hadn’t really been expecting it, I wasn’t given any other alternatives as to what might be ‘wrong’ with me and so I accepted what the psychiatrist said in the hope that this would lead to support and treatment.

It was to my dismay when she ended our appointment by advising me to ‘get on with my life as best as possible’ and that there was no support groups or anything like that because ‘people don’t turn up’.

Want to go somewhere else?

Learn more about our Collective Advocacy Projects.

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