Equip is a leading mental health organisation, an extension of Windsor Park Church, providing an innovative model of care, effective support and education in the greater Auckland region.

An information evening for all with Family Whānau Support Services within the Waitemata Area. An opportunity to ask questions of the Services Providers on hand
Monday, August 12, 2019
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1 in 5 NZ adults experience mental illness in any year. Would you know how to respond?
Monday, August 12, 2019
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A free six-week program to give you skills and strategies to support you to manage your own health and well-being.
Monday, August 12, 2019
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A grief education programme for adults bereaved by suicide.
Monday, August 12, 2019
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Children are great observers, but they do not always put the right interpretation on the things they see. Yes, they probably have seen us affected by our mental health issues but we cannot automatically expect them to have a mature understanding without some coaching.  They will probably become hugely relieved to know that the moods or behaviour they have seen in us (or someone else in the family) have an explanation.  The relief is even greater when they understand that mental health issues are like physical health problems in the sense that it is no-one’s fault: a person who is mentally unwell is not a bad person.

Relief also comes when they understand that they – the children – are not the cause of any of the trouble that may have happened. If they see us anxious, agitated or sad, or acting in some other ‘odd’ way, it is very typical for children to think that they may be to blame for it. Lift that worry from them.

School-age children can learn the name of your diagnosis (at least a simple term for it) and the words to use to describe your symptoms. They have a growing understanding of health, so you can talk to them about the things that help you stay healthy and the things that help you get better again when you do have a bad patch, for example medicines, therapy and lifestyle. You can talk about how you sometimes feel and behave when you are unwell: you might be amazed at how matter-of-factly children will treat this once they know what the real nature of the problem is. It is amazing how ‘strange’ home life can be and yet many children find it quite normal!

We may need to warn our children that not everyone has a correct understanding of mental health problems.  They may be teased because of us. Tell them how much you understand the embarrassment and appreciate their loyalty. The people doing the teasing are wrong but they do not know they are wrong. If they knew the right information, they might not be so unkind.  Assure children they may not be able to do anything about the teasing, but they can always talk to us about it. 

You can mention that most things to do with health are private, including our issues with mental health, so instruct them to be careful about how they share your personal information with others.  You can give them some phrases and terms they can share with friends if they do get curious questions. But it is important that they do have someone, apart from us, that they can talk to. If our mental health challenges worry them, they need to know that it is okay to call someone – a friend or Kids line: 0800 54 37 54 Youthline: 0800 376 633, text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz, Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) or Healthline – 0800 611 116. If the nature of our problem is that we have episodes of unwellness when we cannot care for our children they need to be reassured that there is a plan in place for their safe care. 

It is good to debrief our children as things settle down again, to reconnect and reassure them. Even though you may have explained to them that it is not our fault that we sometimes act and feel in an odd way, we can express to them our sorrow that it may have impacted them or frightened them.

Something to encourage you:  parents with mental health challenges can and do raise healthy, whole, happy children!  Parenting is always a demanding job, even without the extra challenges from mental health issues, but if your kids know they are safe and loved, you already have your pass-mark as a parent, so hang in there!

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Disclaimer:

These blogs are offered with the sincere hope that they will be beneficial to people with mental health challenges, their families and the wider public. However, a big lesson from the history of science is that anyone can be wrong! Therefore, this disclaimer: though written in good faith, the authors and publishers cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content, or its applicability to a particular situation.  Any decisions or course of action taken as a consequence of this content must be entirely the reader’s responsibility.  In no way should this content be used as a basis to contradict or ignore the advice of a medical or mental health professional.

Friday, August 16, 2019
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“I thought I was going to die”.  Panic attacks are feeling (almost) scared-to-death. Our body gets overtaken by fear responses:  heart pounding, trembling, feeling chilled or very hot. Sometimes we might feel like we are choking or going to be sick. And then our mind joins in and tells us that we are going crazy or that we are about to lose control, or even that we are going to die. All in all, a panic attack is very unpleasant and, even though they don’t usually last more than 10 to 20 minutes, we sometimes go to elaborate lengths to avoid having another one.  In fact, that can end up being the worst part of panic attacks: we live in dread of having another one. We can start avoiding people, places and situations just in case we get triggered into another attack. (In fact, panic attacks can happen without a ‘logical’ trigger anyway). It can reinforce phobias because we get scared that if we encounter our ‘trigger’ we will have a panic attack.  

·         Panic attacks and anxiety attacks may have some similar symptoms, but they are not the same – panic attacks are quicker, more extreme, and can come ‘out of the blue’, whereas anxiety attacks are physical symptoms after feeling a lot of stress and worry.

·         Chest pain can be a symptom of both anxiety and panic attacks… but of course it can also be the symptom of a heart attack! In fact, about a quarter of people coming into emergency departments with suspected heart attacks get diagnosed with anxiety or panic. The pain can be different – panic attack pain tends to be sharp, stay located in the chest, and fades after a few minutes, whereas a heart-attack tends to build more slowly, the pain often moves to the arm or jaw, and feels more like a crushing pressure rather than a stabbing pain. HOWEVER: don’t take risks! Even if we already have had a diagnosis of panic attacks in the past, if we suffer strong pain anywhere between our neck and belly-button, it is wise to get medical attention!  You might feel embarrassed getting a ‘false alarm’ diagnosis, but embarrassment is considerably better than risking serious illness or death. And, if the pain is anxiety-related (which is still a real medical issue), the medical staff will be able to help you with that as well.

If we get a panic attack:

·       •  It helps when we know what it is, and that we know that it will pass.

·        • We can reassure ourselves that our panic does not always tell us the truth about threats and dangers.

·         •Control your breathing. Slowly count your breath in: one, two, three, four, pause, out: one, two, three, four.  Even if your breathing is okay, counting up to ten       or twenty or whatever can steady your mind.

·        • Rate your panic attack, on a scale of 1 to 10. Strangely, observing yourself like this takes away some of the terror and gives you a feeling of control.

·         •If you have chest pain as well as other panic symptoms, note the time and make plans to get emergency medical help. If it doesn’t start fading within a few          minutes, treat it as a potential heart attack and get assistance. (Better safe than sorry).

·         •Use your imagination to go somewhere happy: a pleasant memory, thinking about a favourite place, imagining a loved person or pet.

·        • Reciting in your mind the lyrics of a favourite song, poem or prayer can help you rein in racing thoughts.

·        • Tell someone what is happening, preferably a trusted friend but, honestly, the world is full of lovely strangers who will respond with reassurance and       sympathy, and help you feel safe.

·       •  We can do a ‘tour of our body’: in our mind, we visit each part of our body and command it to relax. (It’s our body! We can tell it to do what we want!). “Arms,      hug me… and now go limp and relax. Feet, wriggle my toes, now stay still. Jaw, open wide in a yawn – not too wide! – now close gently without clenching.           Neck, rock my head slowly, now just settle. Hands, tighten in a fist, now spread out the fingers, now just relax”.

 

Of course, the last tip is a form of progressive relaxation. If we learn how to do this at times when we are not actually having an attack, and make it a habit, it is a proven way of lowering stress and reduces the tendency of our nervous system to be triggered into the flight-or-fight response. It will probably reduce the chances of panic or anxiety attacks and, if we do have one, we will be able to readily use the exercise to help ourselves ride it through.    If you Google ‘relaxation exercises’ you will find all sorts of recordings and videos that will lead you through. Some have far too many wind chimes and Tibetan bells for my liking, but I am sure you will find one that suits!

Panic attacks warrant the attention of your doctor, especially as they often accompany other mental health issues, and might also be linked to physical problems. Therapies, support and, sometimes, medication, can help de-throne panic attacks from being the master of your life!

Disclaimer

These blogs are offered with the sincere hope that they will be beneficial to people with mental health challenges, their families and the wider public. However, a big lesson from the history of science is that anyone can be wrong! Therefore, this disclaimer: though written in good faith, the authors and publishers cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content, or its applicability to a particular situation.  Any decisions or course of action taken as a consequence of this content must be entirely the reader’s responsibility.  In no way should this content be used as a basis to contradict or ignore the advice of a medical or mental health professional.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
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To be honest, lots of people take recreational drugs and most of them are fine.  Their brains might definitely act in weird ways while the drugs are doing their thing, but after they wear off, they are completely normal. But,  while we are being honest, even fans of drugs have to admit there are risks, big risks.  Substance users sometimes experience ‘bad trips’ and other side effects, contaminated drugs, accidents, infections, reputation and employment hassles, trouble with the law and so on. And that’s even before we start on what it might be doing to a user’s mental health.

If we have mental health issues, here are some things to consider:

1.       Drug use usually makes mental health problems worse. It can trigger really bad episodes.

2.       It can interfere with the effectiveness of medication and therapies.

3.       Addiction and dependence are mental health issues in themselves. It can hijack a person’s life-story and ruin our relationships, career and health.

4.       No-one knows if their recreational drug use will turn into an addiction: it seems to depend on genetics more than character and will power. Other people might be fine with drugs but we might discover we have predisposition that locks us in to a terrible habit. You never know until it happens.

5.       Drugs can interfere with our ability to work, exercise and socialize – three things proven to improve mental health.

6.       Yes: some evidence suggests cannabis might relieve some mental health problems, but it would be best to get your advice from mental health professionals rather than from a drug dealer! There is probably more evidence pointing to dope having a negative impact, especially on young developing brains.

7.       We might be using drugs because we are lonely, bored and frustrated and we need a bit of fun in our life. Mental health problems do often make it more difficult to be involved in sports and social activities, but with bit of help, especially from support workers, we might be amazed at what we could do.

8.       Drugs cause their own problems (and haven’t you got enough problems already?)

9.       They often make us feel tired and depressed as we come off a high.

10.   They cost a huge amount of money

11.   Drug use often results in us interacting with other drug users and dealers.  Their influence might be antisocial, and they are sometimes violent and criminal.

12.   We might find quitting drugs really hard. Therapy, support groups and some prescribed medication can sometimes help us through the tougher stages.

If we are serious about getting a life worth living and rising above mental ill-health, we should do ourselves a favour and leave drugs behind.

 

Disclaimer

These blogs are offered with the sincere hope that they will be beneficial to people with mental health challenges, their families and the wider public. However, a big lesson from the history of science is that anyone can be wrong! Therefore, this disclaimer: though written in good faith, the authors and publishers cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content, or its applicability to a particular situation.  Any decisions or course of action taken as a consequence of this content must be entirely the reader’s responsibility.  In no way should this content be used as a basis to contradict or ignore the advice of a medical or mental health professional.

 


Friday, July 19, 2019
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A CSW works in partnership with the other person on goals leading to a satisfying life. The work entails helping service users reach identified goals and maximise strengths.





EQUIP’S STAFF SAY:

“I LOVE THE CULTURE AT EQUIP.  I HAVE NEVER KNOWN A PLACE WHERE YOU FEEL SO VALUED AND WHERE YOU ARE PUT FIRST.”

“I TOOK THE JOB TO CHANGE OTHER PEOPLES’ LIVES, BUT IT CHANGED MINE.”


WHO IS EQUIP?

We are an independent mental health Not for Profit organisation associated with Windsor Park Baptist Church and have a strong Christian ethos.  With a staff of around 70, we are a values led organisation who truly care about the people we work with and for.  We pride ourselves on our supportive, inclusive culture and our success is making a positive difference in the lives of others

ABOUT THE ROLE:

A CSW works in partnership with the other person on goals leading to a satisfying life. You’ll work autonomously with service users living in the community in the North Shore, West Auckland and Rodney areas. The work entails helping service users reach identified goals and maximise strengths.

Hours: Mainly from Monday to Friday with some flexibility required to meet the needs of the service users.

You’ll receive a thorough induction and on-going training. Equip will support you to commence relevant training (Level 4 Certificate in Mental Health and Well-being), or you will have completed this already. Higher level relevant qualifications negate this need. Having advanced skills and qualifications in the field of alcohol and drugs would be an additional advantage


WHAT WILL I NEED?
  • A genuine passion to work with people, being a good listener and communicator
  • Be computer literate
  • Be a NZ resident or have a valid NZ work visa
  • Full NZ driver licence
  • Be a team player who is self motivated and can work autonomously

APPLICATIONS CLOSE

4pm Monday 16th September 2019.


apply now

If you have the skills we seek, plus a can do attitude and want to belong to a supportive and engaging team making a real difference in our community, we would love to hear from you!


applications require:

Completed Equip Job Application Form (download an Application Form. ) 
Separate Curriculum Vitae
Cover Letter 
Copy of Driver Licence (front & back)
Copy of photo ID page of passport or NZ full birth certificate
Current Working Visa (if applicable)
Police Vetting form (download here)


Send the above completed forms to:
Email to: 
office@equip.net.nz , or

Personal Delivery to: 
Equip
550 East Coast Road
Mairangi Bay
North Shore , or

Post to: 
Equip
PO Box 65 385
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0754


Wednesday, August 14, 2019
This is a great opportunity to work in an energetic, fun environment to provide positive early intervention services and support for young people.



ABOUT US:

Bays Youth Community Trust is a not-for-profit organisation with more than 10 years experience working with young people experiencing psychological distress, educational challenges and other challenging life situations. Our programmes support young people to grow in resilience and the ability to manage their life situations and ultimately support them to shape a positive future. We provide quality wrap-around services aimed at making a positive impact in the lives of young people and their families in the areas of education, counselling, mentoring and work skills development.

Bays Youth Community Trust is based on the North Shore and the organisation is associated with the Windsor Park Baptist Church and Equip Mental Health and Addictions Agency.  We are a values led organisation who truly care about the people we work with and for and have a strong Christian ethos.  We pride ourselves on our supportive, inclusive culture and our success in making a positive difference in the lives of others.  

ABOUT THE ROLE:

We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic person to join our Alternative Education Team. This team works with a small group of 13-16 year olds who for various reasons mainstream schooling has not been successful. The emphasis is on education and life skills, including developing healthy self-esteem, identifying individual and collective strengths and helping young people create pathways to a positive future.  You will be required primarily to work with high complex needs students on a one to one basis to help them achieve their needs.

This is a dynamic role so you will need to be organized and energetic, with the ability to build relationships with students, families, employees and providers such as government agencies and social services. This is a great opportunity to work in an energetic, fun environment to provide positive early intervention services and support for young people

SKILLS & EXPERIENCE:

  • THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE WILL:
  • Be able to manage students in a learning environment.  Experience working with this age group is preferred.
  • Have a genuine passion to help young people to achieve academic results and improve their lives.
  • Be a good motivator, role model and team player
  • Be flexible, with good time management skills
  • Clear Police and Oranga Tamariki background check
  • Holds a current full, clean NZ motor vehicle licence
  • Have NZ Residency or a valid NZ Work Visa
MORE INFORMATION
Job Description


APPLICATIONS CLOSE

4pm Monday 16 September 2019.


apply now

If you have the skills we seek, plus a can do attitude and want to belong to a supportive and engaging team making a real difference in our community, we would love to hear from you!

So if you’re looking for a job that’s more than just a job, download the application pack below.  Please quote reference number AETA on the application


applications require:

Completed Job Application Form (download an Application Form. ) 
Separate Curriculum Vitae
Cover Letter 
Copy of Driver Licence (front & back)
Copy of photo ID page of passport or NZ full birth certificate
Current Working Visa (if applicable)
Police Vetting form (download here)


Send the above completed forms to:
Email to: 
office@equip.net.nz , or

Personal Delivery to: 
Equip
550 East Coast Road
Mairangi Bay
North Shore , or

Post to: 
Equip
PO Box 65 385
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0754


Wednesday, August 14, 2019
This team works with a small group of 13-16 year olds who for various reasons mainstream schooling has not been successful.





ABOUT US:

Bays Youth Community Trust is a not-for-profit organisation with more than 10 years experience working with young people experiencing psychological distress, educational challenges and other challenging life situations. Our programmes support young people to grow in resilience and the ability to manage their life situations and ultimately support them to shape a positive future. We provide quality wrap-around services aimed at making a positive impact in the lives of young people and their families in the areas of education, counselling, mentoring and work skills development.

Bays Youth Community Trust is based on the North Shore and the organisation is associated with the Windsor Park Baptist Church and Equip Mental Health and Addictions Agency.  We are a values led organisation who truly care about the people we work with and for and have a strong Christian ethos.  We pride ourselves on our supportive, inclusive culture and our success in making a positive difference in the lives of others.  

ABOUT THE ROLE:

We have an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic person to join our Alternative Education Team. This team works with a small group of 13-16 year olds who for various reasons mainstream schooling has not been successful. The emphasis is on education and life skills, including developing healthy self-esteem, identifying individual and collective strengths and helping young people create pathways to a positive future. 

This is a dynamic role so you will need to be organized and energetic, with the ability to build relationships with students, families, employees and providers such as government agencies and social services. This is a great opportunity to work in an energetic, fun environment to provide positive early intervention services and support for young people.

skills & experience:

  • The successful candidate will:
  • Be able to manage students in a learning environment.  Experience working with this age group is preferred.
  • Have a genuine passion to help young people to achieve academic results and improve their lives.
  • Be a good motivator, role model and team player
  • Be flexible, with good time management skills
  • Clear Police and Oranga Tamariki background check
  • Holds a current full, clean NZ motor vehicle licence
  • Have NZ Residency or a valid NZ Work Visa
MORE INFORMATION
Job Description


APPLICATIONS CLOSE

4pm Monday 16 September 2019.


apply now

If you have the skills we seek, plus a can do attitude and want to belong to a supportive and engaging team making a real difference in our community, we would love to hear from you!

So if you’re looking for a job that’s more than just a job, download the application pack below.  Please quote reference number AETUT on the application


applications require:

Completed Job Application Form (download an Application Form. ) 
Separate Curriculum Vitae
Cover Letter 
Copy of Driver Licence (front & back)
Copy of photo ID page of passport or NZ full birth certificate
Current Working Visa (if applicable)
Police Vetting form (download here)


Send the above completed forms to:
Email to: 
office@equip.net.nz , or

Personal Delivery to: 
Equip
550 East Coast Road
Mairangi Bay
North Shore , or

Post to: 
Equip
PO Box 65 385
Mairangi Bay
Auckland 0754


Wednesday, August 14, 2019
Often we are just too hard on ourselves. It is time to be kind to yourself. Find out how self compassionate you are!
Often we are just too hard on ourselves. Go to this excellent website and do the Self Compassion assessment here. Be kind to yourself today!

Thursday, February 22, 2018
Check out the latest events here! Come connect with us.
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Helping to cope with depression – there is a way through

Information on Depression
Get Self-Help information and strategies from www.depression.org.nz

Feeling Depressed?
Hear How Young Kiwis Got Through Depression. www.thelowdown.co.nz

Saturday, May 09, 2015
"Equip visits have built up my confidence again."
I look forward to my Community Support Worker (CSW)’s visits and the company. More often than not, we have had fine weather to go out and sit in the park. This has built up my confidence to get out and back into the community once more. One of the things that has given me great joy and a deep, deep feeling of peace within me is going back to church. Once I expressed this was something I would like to do again, my CSW got Carol to come and visit. Carol found a local church that holds a weekly communion service on a Wednesday. This has meant a lot to me. A bonus good cup of coffee and homemade cake afterward gives me the opportunity to get to know one or two of the other folk there. I am very grateful to Equip for this opportunity and their visits have meant so much to me.


Friday, May 08, 2015
"Kevin’s family love having him closer to them again."

When Kevin first came to Equip he didn’t really have any social contacts and this wasn’t helped by him having no phone or means of communication. Kevin’s first goal was to get a cell phone which he has now and is used to keep in contact with his family.

Over time Kevin was supported by Equip staff to get out of the house and have social contact with his family as he was very isolated living on his own and having no friends... He joined a social group which helped him have some contacts with people who had common interests to himself and it gave him somewhere to go. This led to Kevin going out to visit his friends down the road and had a few visits with his family which he really enjoyed. He said it made him feel really good spending time with family but he didn’t think they would want him to live with them.

Kevin had stated in the past that he wanted to get back into his old work as a builder but hadn’t made any steps towards this. During the visit to his family home he did some building work and discovered how much he had enjoyed doing it. It made him realize that he was capable of working again. Kevin and his support worker problem solved ways to look for and get building work. He ended up finding a job through a friend which he wasn’t needed for in the end but he was really happy about the prospect of getting work and an income.

Kevin’s suppork worker spoke on and off with Kevin’s family members and let them know how much Kevin enjoyed going to their place and spending time with them. In fact Kevin ended up spending Christmas with his famliy whereas normally he would be on his own.

Just recently, Kevin decided to move in with family and is enjoying greater connection with them and his confidence had grown to a point where he was able to make the relocation arrangements himself. Kevin’s family say they love having him closer to them again and are supporting his efforts to get permanent work.




Friday, May 08, 2015
"A lot of situations and things puzzled me."
Hi, I’m Vaoesea and I grew up in Hastings. Just before I went to College I moved with my family to West Auckland and completed my schooling there. When I finished schooling I went to University but struggled and did not cope. I also seemed to be unable to get a job, had no friends, no direction and was shy and lacking in confidence. And for some reason I was angry all the time. Something was not quite right but I didn’t know what it was. I ended up seeing a Psychiatrist and despite this was having trouble communicating with my family. I would head off for long walks in the bush and one night spent the whole night sitting under a tree in the Waitakeres.

I guess if I was to describe how I felt at the time, it was that I was angry a lot and also I started to experience a sensation of dreaming while I was awake. The things I dreamed about felt real but over time I got to realise that they weren’t. A lot of situations and things puzzled me.

This all came to a head one day when I had an argument with my mother and went to the Police to make a complaint against her. The Police got a Doctor to come and check me out. I was taken in a Police car to an inpatient mental health unit, put in isolation and strip searched. It was very degrading and frightening. And I struggled with being separated from family.

After a period of time I came out of the hospital and went back home. I became fascinated and absorbed by the war in Kuwait.

Eventually I moved into what was called a ‘therapeutic community’ in the city where I lived in a big house with a number of other people who had mental health issues. While there I got my first job in a lunch bar in Queen Street but had to leave it because it did not work out.

I left the community and followed my boyfriend up to Whangarei but unfortunately we broke up soon after and my Mother and brother had to come up and get me and I was once again admitted to an inpatient unit for a time. It was during that second stay that I got offered some therapy which I found calming and helpful.

After leaving the unit I went back to the therapeutic community and learnt how to be a reliable flatmate, budget and socialise.

Eventually, I got the chance to move into a three bedroom flat with two other people who received support from a mental health support service. This time things went better. I got a cleaning job which I seemed to manage quite well and was able to hold on to.

Things change a lot in mental health services but a change that was good for me was that the flat we were in became available for us to rent independently. We all got our names on the lease and each of us received support from Equip. This was the first time in 15 years that I felt I had some real independence. I got well enough to not need support at all.

When I heard about the Client Advisor role coming up at Equip I was encouraged by others to apply. Whilst I did not think I probably had the confidence or skills to do the role something urged me to give it a go.

I have been in that role for five years and have been stretched and learnt a lot. Because my job is on the North Shore I decided to move there and most weekends I spend with my brother at his place.

Who would have thought that the University drop out is now advising an organisation with 60 staff and 220 clients how to put the person at the centre of their services and giving that service feedback from service users as to what is working and what is not.

Who knows what else I can do – it will be exciting to find out.


Friday, May 08, 2015
"Equip gave me hope and a sense of progress when I had none"
It was hard waiting for such a long time in hospital but Equip staff really gave me and my mum hope that one day I would get out and have my own flat and a job.  They helped me work on my CV and confidence skills and while the waiting for somewhere to live took awhile, I worked on these things.  My mum was involved too and she offered me a lot of support and she and Equip worked together.  Through Equip I got to see a Dietician every week and she helped me to lose weight and get fit.

I am out of hospital now and whilst I am in supported accommodation I know that eventually I will get my own flat and a job.

Equip gave me hope and a sense of progress when I had none.

Tim


Friday, May 08, 2015