Below two recent visitors to the Evening Sanctuary describe how it has helped them to move on.
‘I came to the Sanctuary because: I was feeling isolated; needed a break; had problems in life; AA meetings ‘doing my head in,’ insomnia and stresses of life. I’ve been here three weeks today. I finish here on Sunday and go in to detox next week.
It has felt safe being here. Coming here gave me a chance to relax and made me notice the anxiety and fear that I’ve been feeling. It was a really useful insight as I can now link my anxiety and fear to my drinking, not just the resentment. The company here has been great – I have lived alone 20 years and have one friend who visits. I like the board games, they are fun, social and ‘good for the brain’. I watched a film, which I also enjoyed as I don’t have a TV at home. The food also helped as it meant I saved money and got a bit out of debt.
The service is great. I saved money going to a psychiatric hospital, as cheaper, and I liked that it wasn’t therapeutic. The people are really nice including the staff. It’s good to have normal conversation. I do a lot of groups and I get really tired talking about my addictions. I have dual diagnosis and services generally are not very good at providing support – people fall between the cracks if they have mental health and alcohol issues. This gave me a rest from recovery and helped me get ready for detox next week. It means that when I attend the day programme (following detox) I think I will be better able to deal with all the groups.
I feel there should be more services like this. I thought it was really good and benefited from it.’
Another visitor describes a journey from crisis to a vocation.
‘I like coming here because of friends and staff. When I first came here it was quiet, I sat on the sofa and had the fan on. It helped me to meditate. Now I’ve progressed I love the people more.
I come here because I have schizophrenia, sleep apnoea, anxiety and depression. I couldn’t sleep or settle. Now I can sleep, Sanctuary ‘eases the pain’.
It is good to be with people when I have psychosis. I need somewhere to be, otherwise I would go to Priory or Maudsley – it has helped me 85% more.
A major part of my feeling confident is coming here. I really like interacting with people . I’m able to communicate a bit better and be myself. I like the friendship, socialising and dinner parties. I also love singing.
I think Sanctuary has fulfilled everything I would want from it. But I would like a job in hairdressing.
This is how I want to be, I’m okay.’
The Evening Sanctuary is based at Mosaic Clubhouse, 65 Effra Road, Brixton
– Wed – Sun, 6pm – 2am. See below for links to more information and stories on how it is supporting people in crisis.
Click here for more on Sanctuary Support
Click here for more about the Sanctuary