Bringing Hope to the Mental challenged

Jane
Posted July 14, 2019 from South Africa
Irene Mental Health
Irene Mental Health (1/3)

After losing my baby girl on the 28 June 2016, I thought my world was ending, the pain was so deep more than when I lost my husband in 1996. Though she was 28 years, to me was still my baby girl and I felt I am losing my mind. The feeling of not remembering anyone's name, where I forgot which day it was, if bathed or eaten, I was a walking corpse, worse I felt that I failed her by allowing her to get married as she was only married for 10 days when she collapsed and died and the postmortem declared "unnatural death" up to today we have no idea what killed my daughter i raised for 28 years and about to graduate for law in November 2016. She got married on the 17 June 2019 collapsed 28 June 2019 living a 4 months old baby girl she adored so much.

When I finally came to accept that she was gone, my mind re-winded the episode of my feelings then and realised that I was nearly admitted into mental clinic. The thought made me aware that mental sickness is not a joke, it can be a stigma to others who dont understand the root cause but you as an individual who knows what made you ended in that situation can only live to tell the story hence I decided to volunteer my time to one mental home in Irene South Africa and find it easy to interact and fits in and understand what those ladies were going through and find it easy to give support, love and affection their need. 

People with mental health problems say that the social stigma attached to mental ill health and the discrimination they experience can make their difficulties worse and make it harder to recover. Most people who experience mental health problems recover fully, or are able to live with and manage them, especially if they get help early on.

But even though so many people are affected, there is a strong social stigma attached to mental ill health, and people with mental health problems can experience discrimination in all aspects of their lives. Many people's problems are made worse by the stigma and discrimination they experience - from society, but also from families, friends and employers.

Nearly nine out of ten people with mental health problems say that stigma and discrimination have a negative effect on their lives.Stigma and discrimination can also worsen someone's mental health problems, and delay or impede their getting help and treatment, and their recovery. Social isolation, poor housing, unemployment and poverty are all linked to mental ill health. So stigma and discrimination can trap people in a cycle of illness. With my previous experience, I believe nothing beats the love and support of our families, friends and everyone closer to us. If accepted, understood and the simple hug is given, the healing process is 100% guaranteed than taking any medicine and saying this because I walked through that road as I was never hospitalised or diagnosed or taken any medication BUT the love and support without judgement and understanding the root cause was the best medicine received from my family and friend. 

Let us learn to love, understand without judging what we have no basis of. Stop stigmatization and place ourselves in others shoes. Love conquers all. I am attaching some of the pictures of the home I adopted where we donated umbrellas as their request and need of those umbrellas. There is so much need in that home if only the world can look at such communities and support as much as they can 

This story was submitted in response to Moments of Hope.

Comments 10

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SIMON MUREU
Jul 15
Jul 15

gOOD ADVICE FORM THIS TUG

Jane
Jul 15
Jul 15

Thank you

Jill Langhus
Jul 15
Jul 15

Hello Dear Jane,

Thanks so much for sharing your sad but inspiring story and message. I'm so sorry for your loss, dear:-( May time and love heal your wounds. I'm glad that you recovered from the initial shock and overwhelm from this traumatic event and that you funneled your energy and love into volunteering for others in need, too. Such a beautiful thing you did. I agree about judging less, too, and loving more. Such an important message. Will you continue volunteering or do you have other goals to pursue?

XX

Jane
Jul 16
Jul 16

Hi Jill, thanks again
Yes I am still continuing. Irene Homes currently houses 88 mentally disabled adult ladies on a permanent basis. These ladies’ range in age from 20 to 70 years old and sadly, in these numbers, are 35 adult orphans of all ages who have no family at all or family that are unable to care for them. The ladies are divided amongst the 8 residential houses on the property where they are cared for by a Housemother and a Domestic Assistant. The 88 permanent residents spend their days in either the contracts workshop or one of the other 3 workshops viz. knitting, weaving and creativity. In these workshops the ladies are given the opportunity to learn new skills and spend their time in protected environments with like-minded people. A number of beautiful items are generated from these workshops including cushions, aprons, gloves, jerseys, scarves, blankets, woven mats, table runners, beading work, Teddy Bears and much more. Part of my continuous volunteering is to help with arranging space at a flea market to sell and show case their hand work skills to generate their own cash through that :)

Jill Langhus
Jul 16
Jul 16

Hello Jane,

Great! Oh, wow:-( That's quite high.

The activities sound great.

Do you enjoy what you're doing, then? It sounds like you do or you wouldn't keep doing it:-)

Looking forward to hearing more about it!

Hello, Sister Jane,

How painful your experience is! The death of an offspring is considere the most painful of all. Hugs to you.

Thank you for the bravery to share your story. I agree that we need to break the stigma on mental health issues. Love and empathy are paths to healing.

Good luck in your story submission!

Jane
Jul 16
Jul 16

Thank you my sister, showing love and empathy costs nothing, if we could all have that little compassion which is more than money could buy, we could have a better world :)

You’re welcome, Sister. This is a very good advocacy.

Tamarack Verrall
Aug 12
Aug 12

Dear Jane,
I am so sorry to learn of the loss of your daughter. That your pain and loss led you to think of others and volunteer to help says so much about you. May your call for people to support as much as they can, carry wide and far.

Jane
Aug 12
Aug 12

Dear Tamarack
I am truly humbled, thank you so much for the words of comfort.