Stevenage woman who was suicidal is now striving to help others in crisis

PUBLISHED: 08:29 07 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:03 10 October 2018

Hayley has been leaving inspirational cards around Stevenage in a bid to help people with mental health problems.

Hayley has been leaving inspirational cards around Stevenage in a bid to help people with mental health problems.

Archant

A woman who has been battling mental health problems for years and has come close to taking her own life is determined to help others who may be in crisis.

Hayley – who asked for her surname not to be used – lives in Stevenage and has borderline personality disorder, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

In March this year she suffered a breakdown and tried to take her own life, before she was placed under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act by police officers.

Hayley said: “When I had my breakdown I went to a train station to end my life.

“Later, I began wondering how many people feel like how I’m feeling and I wondered what I could do to help make a difference.”

Hayley came up with the idea of making and laminating cards with inspirational messages on them, and including helpline numbers on the reverse, and leaving them around Stevenage.

She said: “I have printed 500 and have so far laminated 100 and tied them to bridges, and put them around parks and woods and close to where I go for mental health support.

“I have given them to people who I think might benefit, or who know others who might benefit from them.”

She continued: “I have got lots more support now I have been diagnosed with my conditions, and I can’t fault the NHS – but I do know people who aren’t getting the support, which is why I wanted to make the cards.

“My idea behind this is that when we are in our darkest moments and we can’t think straight, the posters will encourage people to reach out and realise they are not alone and that people care.”

Hayley, who has not been well enough to work since her breakdown, said: “I have a wonderful family who are supporting me but I have lost most of my friends.

“I’m going to keep going and keep making the cards and leaving them for people to find.

“I am using my own money and I have been selling things in my house to fund it because I feel it is so important.

“I want to make a difference and help save lives.”

If you need mental health support, or if you are in crisis, you can call Samaritans on the free and confidential 24-hour helpline 116 123 or visit samaritans.org.uk.

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