Updates & Info
Following on from our recent "patient story", in the Bournemouth Echo on 9 October 2013, Zoe told her story of how the Steps to Wellbeing Service helped her.
"Zoe Overcomes Traumas with Help from Dorset HealthCare's Steps to Wellbeing"
AT the age of 31, Zoe Keogh has had to overcome some major traumas in her life, including domestic abuse, a car crash and the suicide of her beloved mother.
Zoe was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after she started locking herself away, too afraid to leave the house.
But despite all this, Zoe who lives in Bournemouth with her two young daughters, has managed to get her life back on track with help from Dorset HealthCare’s, Steps to Wellbeing Service.
“I’m doing fine now,” she says.
“I’ve always been a very positive person and I really want to help other people who might be in a similar situation to the one I was in a year ago.”
Zoe had moved to Bournemouth to escape an abusive relationship but ended up next door to a couple who were experiencing similar problems.
After one particularly violent episode during which Zoe’s mother was attacked, she ended up suffering with Post Traumatic Disorder and became a virtual recluse.
“I was too scared to go out. It was very scary – I thought I was losing the plot.”
But just when she thought life couldn’t get any worse Zoe’s mother, who she says was her best friend, took her own life.
“It was only the thought of my girls that kept me going,” she says.
Eventually Zoe sought help and signed up for six weeks of counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
“There is no magical cure – you have to put the work in, but it teaches you to control your thoughts and have a more positive outlook on life.”
Zoe who is set to be a volunteer working with people with mental health issues adds: “I want to encourage anyone suffering with mental health issues to seek help and to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you think your life is over – it doesn’t have to be.”
If you are feeling very distressed, despairing or suicidal and need immediate help please contact your GP and request an emergency appointment, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
If your GP surgery is not open, you can contact the NHS Out of Hours Medical Service on 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation. If you feel at harm to yourself or from other – go straight to your nearest Accident and Emergency.
If you are concerned that someone else is very distressed and might be considering suicide please encourage them to contact their GP and make an emergency appointment. Alternatively you might wish to encourage them to speak to the Samaritans on 116 123.
If you are concerned that someone is about to act on thoughts of hurting themselves you might wish help them attend the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. Alternatively, you may choose to contact the Police on 999.
Similarly, if you become concerned that someone is at risk of hurting somebody else
If you feel you need to talk to someone in confidence, the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on:
Tel: 116 123
(TEXT MESSAGE ONLY number available on 07725 909090)
There are also local Samaritans branches across Hampshire and Dorset.