Combinations Episode 25 – Thea’s Story

Combinations is the new Podcast from Combined Healthcare. Click on the icon below to visit the Podcast on Soundcloud. Or you can scroll down the page and listen from within this website.

Thea first accessed mental health services almost 6 years ago.

In November 2013, Thea attempted to end her life. She planned to die after years of being subjected to domestic abuse and to escape the unbearable pressures of her secret, mounting debts. She spent several weeks in recovery in general hospital following this.

She was transferred to Ward 3 at Harplands Hospital from Royal Stoke Hospital just before midnight on New Year’s Eve 2013.

With encouragement and support, Thea eventually disclosed her years of domestic violence and was able to rationalise how she had got into debt with the sole purpose of keeping her ex-husband happy. She reflected that she saw her death as the only way out of this situation. She was supported to access appropriate voluntary sector mutual support services and went on to then volunteer in supporting others.

Thea engaged well with her community care team post-discharge and received a truly multi-disciplinary response to her assessed experience of significant trauma.

This included regular medication reviews, in-house counselling, occupational therapy assessment and adaptations, a coordinated package of social care and practical and emotional support from both mental health professionals which promoted her confidence, self-esteem and recovery from mental distress. Thea received a Personal Health Budget to access the gym and her many medical appointments, with the support of a personal assistant.

In spite of her, at times, devastating life experiences, Thea has raised three happy, healthy and successful individuals and similarly loves, cares for and nurtures her many, beautiful grandchildren.

Thea is a qualified teacher and an active member of her Greek-Cypriot community. Furthermore, following her agreed discharge from secondary mental health services, she delivers lectures, discussing her experience of recovery with university social work students and is currently involved in planning content for a nursing masters course, amongst her many other activities.

Thea is an exceptional human being who has experienced much adversity, conflict and abuse throughout her life, but never lost her integrity and her capacity to love. She is an inspiration to all who meet her.

If you would like to submit a story idea for a Combinations Podcast – please fill in the form on our staff, services users and carer stories page by clicking here .  We welcome ideas from everyone, whether you are a member of staff, a service user, a carer, a partner or simply interested in mental health issues.