Now Curtis is not only here, but he’s happy – and proudly telling everyone ‘I’m living in my own flat!' I wouldn’t have believed it when I first turned to Mind 25 years ago.
Bringing up Curtis was a struggle from day one. I almost lost him as a baby, then when he began having fits as a toddler, my husband blamed me and our marriage broke up. Neighbours were prejudiced against us and I was really frightened for Curtis. At fourteen he developed an eating disorder and shortly afterwards he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Curtis went to a children’s centre next, but was really unhappy there. His medication gave him fits and he was paranoid. In the end they sent him home.
We were at rock bottom. Curtis was traumatised and wouldn’t go out. My health got so bad my doctor said I was no longer fit enough to work. Then Mind came into our lives and things began to get better.
I remember meeting a solicitor from Mind’s legal team, he came to do a talk at our carers support group, and what he told me that day was invaluable.
I learned about my rights, and he gave me a book on mental health law too. All this helped my confidence. He really did help me go about things in the right way, and care for myself.
I have left things in place for Curtis and I’m happy I’ve secured his future. But I want to make sure everyone who needs it can access Mind’s wonderful help and support. That’s why I’ve left Mind a gift in my will. I trust Mind and I feel good that I’m able to leave something to people with mental health problems.
My dream for the future is that everyone is treated as a whole person, from recognising signs and symptoms, to their treatment and care. People should be signposted to the services and information, to help them on their journey – just as Curtis and I have been helped by Mind.
We need to give people with mental health problems, and their families, respect, dignity, care and love. I believe that leaving a gift to Mind in my will is going to help make that dream come true.
Myself and Curtis want to thank you all, including Mind in Cambridgeshire for your support. We want to thank also my sister Sonia, brother Rodney, my good friends Margaret, Barry, Nina, plus Maureen and Richard and Cardinal Kelvin Felix who have been so helpful to us both.
Mind works together in partnership with our network of local Minds. Each local Mind is an independent charity and is responsible for their own funding and services. If you would like your gift to fund a local Mind please contact that charity directly.