"In the early days of hearing voices, it was quite shocking. I was worried and kept it to myself – I started spending more time on my own. The voices were clear enough, but I knew they were in my head. They would say vulgar, murderous stuff – it was really distressing.
For the first time in a long time I felt I did not understand myself. Something was going on and I wasn’t sure of myself: I wondered, is this how I am now?
It started during a period where I was under a lot of relationship-related stress. It took six weeks for me to decide to find out what help was available."
"I went to my GP first, who referred me to a Lambeth Living Well Hub: I had an assessment there and was referred to OASIS. I imagined it would be long before getting help because I know the NHS is slow, but it was much quicker than I thought.
I didn’t have any negative preconceptions of mental health services. I was quite cynical thinking “what help would simple talking therapy do?” The reality is that there is something about voicing thoughts and getting a different perspective which is good."
"The initial assessment at OASIS was pretty good – it was really reassuring and easy going. There was not really anything I would change. We had an hour to go over the questions and my assessor shed some light on my experiences."
"Psychology is like an in-depth talk about the experiences you’re having: it gets you thinking about the context in which they happened and the state you were in at the time.
Psychology provides a new perspective helping you to take measures to stop or alleviate them from happening again.
Once I understood some of my beliefs I held about relationships, it was about changing them and becoming more aware of some bad habits. I have learnt new coping strategies, such as changing my attitude and “not caring as much”. I would invest so much in relationships, expect a new person to be my all and expect all these grand things... now I am changing that for the future."
"It has been super useful. I get to talk about what’s happened in the week – it is a dedicated window to talk. I have had job support too which has been really helpful – I had just graduated and realised I had no money and no job: my keyworker helped me understand roles and routes to take to get a job I want. He also helped me with my cover letter and things like that."
"Before OASIS, I was lacking awareness of how I interpreted odd experiences. That’s changed now and I don’t keep all my thoughts and feelings inside anymore, which pushed me over.
At OASIS I learned what keeps me well: keeping myself in good company with certain friends, coming to OASIS and being in a therapeutic environment helped even before I started my psychology sessions. I’ve shared my difficulties with my friends and they’ve been more supportive. Before, they would come to me for help - now they listen to me too."