Carol's story #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Pembroke House is a centre for social action and residential community in Walworth, South London. Pembroke House have a Wellbeing Programme, enabling people who are interested in improving their sense of wellbeing to get involved in community activities at our centre.

Carol first came to Pembroke House through Marcela Vielman, the Community Coordinator at Talking Therapies Southwark (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).

Carol says, “A few years ago, I experienced a mental breakdown and was suffering from severe depression. It took a year of medication and therapy before I could start to face the world again.

Marcela told me she was hoping to start a reading group. I had always loved creative activities, including reading and theatre. One of the distressing things about my breakdown was that I found it hard to focus and concentrate for more than ten or fifteen seconds at a time.

I’d gone from being someone who devoured a book each week to someone who barely read the headlines of the Metro. I hoped that listening to books being read might help to improve my focus again.”

She quickly found that she benefited from the routine of attending a weekly group and chatting to a variety of people. “It was empowering,” she says, “to be able to ask questions about what people think in an environment where there are no right or wrong answers.”

Within a few months, Carol was stepping in to take the group when the project lead was away, as she rediscovered the joy of reading a book. She is now taking training with the Readers’ organisation so that she will be qualified to lead her own group.

“Volunteering has given me things I didn’t even think to hope for,” she says.

Other Pembroke House stories:

Read Olivia's story here.

Read Tom's story here.

It's #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

This year's theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is 'Body Image', looking into how the way we feel and think about our bodies can affect our mental health throughout life.

Get involved in the week here! Use this week to #BeBodyKind!


Social Prescribing Survey

Our Healthwatch Southwark team want to hear from people who have been given advice by their GP, or another health or care worker, to join in community activities.

They'd also like to hear from people with health conditions/disabilities who have not received this kind of help.

They want to learn more about how this is going in Southwark and you can help us by completing the survey here.

Join the conversation below