David from Cwmbran is a Dad, a mature student and an artist. He’s also an NCMH research champion. This is his story:
I’ve lived in Cwmbran at the same address for 55 years now – all my life. My parents moved here from Porth in the Rhondda all the way back in 1956.
I am a lone parent having lost my wife to breast cancer eight years ago. My only child, Emily, is now 16 years old and studying for A-Levels. It can be tough being a lone parent but we have done ok so far!
Emily is studying Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Geography and hopes to go on to University in a couple of years. I’m very proud of her, and I’m sure she’s going to do very well.
I love to draw and paint, and since I lost my wife, I’ve studied at Newport University as a mature student and attained a distinction in Foundation Studies in Art, Media and Design, and am considering going back to continue my studies after my daughter completes her own.
I have bipolar disorder, and having mood swings can be very debilitating. I take oral medication every morning, and I also have to have an injection from my Community Psychiatric Nurse every three weeks.
When I heard about NCMH on the radio, I wanted to do my bit to help future generations to get better diagnosis, treatment and aftercare.
I made a phone call to the number advertising the programme and spoke to a really friendly, bubbly operator who arranged a day and time suitable to come to my home and we took it from there.
The young researcher who came out to see me was cordial and professional, and very patient with me during the interview. She made me very comfortable throughout. I had no worries talking through my illness and answering the questions put to me as she made me feel very at ease. I’d definitely recommend it to others.
I hope that by taking part I can do my bit to help develop better diagnosis and preventative measures as well as raising awareness in society for those of us who suffer with mental health issues on a daily basis.
The numbers are growing every day, and more help is needed.