Hi, I’m Ben and I am 19. I have lived in Southampton for 2 years now since joining PBS4.
Here is a little bit about me. Growing up I didn’t have it easy; I was staying here, there, and everywhere. I didn’t get to live my life the way everyone else did. I was bullied a lot all throughout my childhood which resulted in me getting into a lot of trouble with the police due to being forced to steal. All I wanted growing up was to be loved and for people to like me.
I ended up needing to go to the hospital at the age of 15, I wasn’t let out until I was 17.
I didn’t have a good experience in the hospital so when PBS4 came to visit me at the hospital, I was really happy, I couldn’t wait to get out and back into the community living in my own flat with support to help me find my feet and become the independent young man I am today.
PBS4 helped me with the move to Southampton and had a great team ready to support me. When I moved into my flat unfortunately covid had hit so I didn’t have the best start as I was still restricted with what I could do but it really affected my mental health. Having my team reassure me and support me with all of my worries helped me manage which I am grateful for. (without them I would have found it more difficult.)
My team, I had then and the team I have now have given me so much support, they have prompted me to get out and do more stuff out in the community. They have helped me with day-to-day stuff like cleaning, cooking, washing, meal planning, writing shopping lists, budgeting money and most of all being someone I feel I can talk to about my feelings or open up about parts of my life. They are all great listeners and give me great advice when I need it. Throughout my time with PBS4, I have had ups and downs, but I have come a long way. I have tried different things like football and college, and I am working on talking to my team more when I am feeling low.
One of my biggest achievements is making music. I have always had a good ear for music, and this is something I enjoy as it is my way of expressing how I feel as sometimes I can’t get the right words to say how I feel. I had help from my team when making some of my songs, I would ask for advice on what they thought and if anything needs changing. Every one of my songs has a lot of meaning to me, I make them to raise awareness of mental health for people to know it is okay not to be okay. I know what it is like to struggle, as I have for most of my life, but I want people to know it’s always best to seek help and talk about it to someone. (my door is always open.)
At the moment I am working on reaching my future goals which my team have been brilliant at helping me. I am starting a group with No Limits and I am super excited to start making some new friends and learning new skills. I plan on joining the gym with my team and hope to start to do more activities to make more great memories.
I know my mental health will never fully go away but with the right support and coping skills I know I will be able to live an independent life.
My past and mental health don’t define me, nor will I let that stop me from getting to where I want to be. I do have a little way to go but looking back at how far I have come makes me so proud of myself, my team always reminds me of this which gives me the motivation to continue making them proud as they are like family to me.
Written by Ben, an amazing person we support, 2022.