A friend told me about MindOut as she was attending meetings at the Clare Project and at the time I was finding things difficult, being a foreigner in the UK and not knowing what to do. I was homeless and sofa surfing and then became a resident in the Buddhist Centre for a short while. But I had some ups and downs and had to leave and then I lived with a friend but I needed more space and privacy.
Last September I thought about contacting MindOut, but didn’t and then my dad died in December last year and I suddenly felt alone. I hadn’t had much contact with my family when he was alive because of my trans identity. At this time I felt fearful, I was experiencing pain and needed someone to tell me that everything would be ok. However it took me 6 months from the point I first heard about MindOut to actually picking up the phone and asking for help – I was scared.
When I rang MindOut there was no waiting for an appointment – they saw me straight away. I booked a counselling appointment and then an advocacy appointment with Dawn about my housing. The counselling was the key which unlocked me – I felt free to discuss the domestic violence I had experienced as a young person which enabled me to reconnect and offer myself at a different level to society.
I immediately felt comfortable with staff at MindOut – suddenly I had people who were looking after me. Staff stood alongside me – they didn’t do stuff for me. They made me feel safe and I’ve definitely been heard this time. Staff are not just doing their jobs – they are professional, understanding, warm and caring. I’m very grateful to MindOut – they expressed so much respect not only for my trans identity but to who I am as a human being.
I also attended the Work It Out peer support group – being part of this group has made me feel really good because I’ve been heard and I can support other people – it has helped me to feel that Brighton is a very beautiful city and I now feel welcome and part of something – a community. I’m now looking to a book a second round of counselling as I’m awaiting surgery.
I would recommend MindOut to anyone.