Debbie, a veterinary nurse, is in her early 60s and lives in London. This is her experience using Hestia's mental health service, Hillingdon Cove Café.

I remember the feelings I was experiencing before I went to Hillingdon Cove Café. I was so angry frustrated, and depressed. 

It’s been a really difficult year. I’m a veterinary nurse, which I’ve been doing for nearly 30 years, but I’ve been struggling at work at the moment. I have physical health and memory problems and some of my relationships with my family are really strained. I was really at breaking point by the time I arrived at the service.

I walked into the Café and met my support worker, Myles. There was an instant, upfront connection. During the pandemic I’d struggled to access support anywhere, and I was wary of counselling after some negative past experiences. The support I received when I spoke to Myles was better than anything I’ve been offered in years.

The relationship between myself and some of my close family members had completely broken down, and we weren’t speaking. I was desperate to take responsibility for the situation, and make peace with them. Myles gave me some techniques to cope with my own emotions and ideas for how to approach speaking with them again.

Everything he suggested was so helpful, and it worked! We have a long way to go, but we’re speaking again.

I was nervous on my way to the Cove, but my experience with Myles made me want to come back for another session. He really took the time to understand me, and listen. Not only was it great to talk to someone face-to-face, it was interesting talking to someone completely outside of the situation. I was so impressed by Myles’ advice and wise words.

I’m having my last session with Myles this week, and I’m looking forward to telling him the progress I’ve made and also make the most of his advice.

My physical health problems and some of the circumstances with my family are not fixed, and will take time. However, there is a place to go to for help. I’m aware of that now. While it sometimes feels like I’ve hit a brick wall, I know that’s not always true, and I feel I’m making a conscious effort to improve my situation.

I’d recommend the Cove Café to anyone and everyone who needs help. Now, you can just turn up if you need support!  I know lots of people who are struggling, and I’d like them to receive the same help that I did. 

For more information about our Hillingdon Cove Café service, please follow this link for contact information.