Around Ealing February 2018 | Page 21

MENTAL HEALTH   Below: The Solace Centre in West Ealing Service user Tyron Barnett chatting with a recovery worker Natasha Wing the new centre was well received by a sea of 140 smiling faces. Councillor Hitesh Tailor, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for health and adults’ services, said: “The new purpose-built building will give current and future users much needed support.” ‘LONELINESS IS A KILLER’ Natasha Wing has been going to Solace for 15 years. She has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder – a condition that she believes was first triggered by personal traumas as a child. “Solace has become my second home and very much become my safety net,” she said. “It has done so much for me in dealing with day- to-day living and the stresses and strains of life. “We help each other. Peer support is so important. And it gives you social contact you might not otherwise have. Loneliness is a killer.” work and do not have that kind of daily routine that brings you together with other people. And if you don’t have a routine or a reason to be somewhere, it is not good for your mental health. The staff also know me really well now and can pick up on signs if I am getting manic or a little too high. If I feel wobbly, I can use them as a touchstone and then do something about it.“ Tyron Barnett has been attending Solace for 16 years. He said: “This is a family to me – a big family of people from different places. We share each others’ problems and look out for each other. And you can knock on the door and talk to staff any time.” Read the full story at features/solace ‘THIS IS A FAMILY TO ME’ Another member of Solace who has been going there for 15 years is Dympna Bolger, who lives with bi-polar. “Solace is not just about having a laugh and a cup of tea; it is much more than that,” she said. “A lot of us don’t Bottom right: Councillor Tailor opening the centre on World Mental Health Day   around ealing    February 2018 21