Alice's story

"Longlands has given me freedom just to be myself.”

I came because I have quite a few mental health problems.  I took attempts on my life and I was self-harming.  I was sent to an inpatient unit for my mental health.  I was there for about four months, because they were worried I was going to hurt myself or something. I got out, and went back to school, but then everything was worse again.  So I dropped out and now I’m here, and obviously doing OK for myself.

Longlands is a break away from school.  There’s lots of different things you can do.  I like all the animals – I’m a very animal person.  I like the guinea pigs – they’re really cute.  Can’t wait for the babies to come – they’re having babies, in May! 

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I would definitely recommend Longlands, for anyone who is struggling in the school system. Coming here one or two days a week would be a break from the normal routine of school.   School is a pressurised environment.  I could never be myself!  I had to be this certain person. And it was just exhausting.   

Longlands has given me freedom just to be myself.  They’ve helped me a lot with my mental health.  Just being outdoors is amazing therapy.  Just the environment, really.  I love just sitting in the dog kennels, giving the dogs cuddles.  Animals really do help.

I have a job now at a pub.  I don’t think I’d have been able to do that this time last year.  I’d have been off every week.  I’ve been there about a month now, and worked every shift.  And I’m going back to college in September, and see how it goes from there. 

This place has really helped me with my confidence: to be able to talk to people, and explain how I’m feeling, which will help me in the future, and help me get better. Longlands has really helped me with working out who I am.

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