STAGES, which stands for Support Training Advice Guidance & Educational Services, is a support network for people in Corby and the surrounding area offering help with mental health issues through the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, mindfulness, meditation, complimentary therapies and holistic support.
Mental health issues have always been a big part of my life. I’m currently 49 years old and since the age 17 have been receiving treatment from the Corby Community Mental Health Team for various diagnoses including depression and anxiety, and more recently, bipolar depression. Bipolar depression became a major feature of my life in 2005 when I had a lengthy 6 month stay in hospital. After this I had no support to speak of. I suffered regular breakdowns of my mental health from this point on, which between the years 2010-2014 resulted in annual stays in mental health hospitals for months at a time over the summer periods.
After the last of these visits I started to get involved with the STAGES group upon release. I became aware of this great network through meeting Wayne Read on a life skills course I took part in at Stuart Road Corby Mental Health Clinic, leading me to meet his wife Katie who is the STAGES group director. I’d always wanted to be treated holistically because as you can see above, being treated as the sum of my symptoms didn’t work for me, so this was a dream come true. It’s no coincidence that I haven’t looked back since and I’m now in remission and out of hospital for the longest period of time since receiving my bipolar diagnosis.
As I’m sure you’re aware, mental health issues aren’t always taken as seriously as physical ones, but they can be every bit as debilitating and often more so. This isn’t a glamorous cause, but it is certainly is an important one. STAGES has helped me to turn my life around and I believe it could help so many more people if it just got the funding and support it needs to continue its good work. As a result of engaging with Stages, I’m now in such a wonderful place that my consultant has agreed to a reducing plan for my meds which is making the world of difference to my quality of life. Before this, I was nothing more than a zombie who was unable to get out of bed. Now I am able to wake up and see the sunshine in the morning and I couldn’t be happier. I couldn’t be happier for this wonderful change which has taken place in my life and wellbeing xx