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Alma's Story

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Alma had been living with anxiety and depression as a result of experiencing several traumatic events throughout her life. Unfortunately, the services she approached had lengthy waiting lists and help wasn’t readily available. Six years later, Alma moved to Perthshire and found Trauma Healing Together when she was searching for trauma support in the local area. Initially, she delayed the referral to our Pathways to Hope programme; instead throwing herself into work and hobbies as she had always done until the inevitable ‘burnout’ happened. 

 

Thankfully I found Trauma Healing Together which is unbelievably well suited to those with trauma. I feel safe and like I have value. I feel respected and have met some strong amazing people.

Pathways to Hope consists of 24 individual counselling sessions running alongside 16 group wellbeing sessions. Although Alma is only halfway through her journey with Trauma Healing Together, when she reflects on her time so far, she says, “It’s a really enjoyable, safe place that’s supportive. It’s all about looking after yourself. It changed my life.” The first group wellbeing session was tough for Alma as it became all too ‘real’ but after that, she realised that unlike other non-mental health-oriented groups she had attended, she didn’t need to hide her mental health struggles and that the atmosphere was “relaxed and accepting."


Speaking about the group wellbeing sessions, Alma says, “It’s completely tailored to people with trauma and you always get a choice of what to do. It was a lesson to me, as someone who was a massage therapist, that self-care is vital. I’ve learned to take care of myself too.” Alma feels like she has already gained a huge amount from the sessions and appreciates the way the programme is tailored so that no one feels that they are compelled to do particular activities. She’s also enjoying meeting people with similar experiences and says, “everyone is kind and resilient.” Whilst chair yoga has been her favourite activity so far, Alma has enjoyed “every bit of it” and says it’s all about the taking part as there’s no pressure to be involved or enjoy every activity. Through the wellbeing groups, Alma has learnt to feel more positive about herself and life. Whereas previous coping strategies had always led to burnout, Alma is now learning healthy ways to care for herself.

For those wanting to refer themselves to Pathways to Hope, Alma says, “You are worth it. You’ll be welcomed and respected. Every bit of the process is trauma-informed whereas other services I’d used weren’t.”  Alma feels that the charity really values people and appreciates that the Peer Group Facilitators have been through Pathways to Hope themselves and have had their own struggles. Although it’s still early days for Alma, she has enrolled on a course to study Adverse Childhood Events and wishes to pursue her love of yoga further.

 

If you have been affected by trauma, you owe it to yourself to give yourself hope. It’s a different way of looking at life.

If you would like to find out more about Pathways to Hope, visit here

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