During Carers Week June 2017, we shared stories of hope, courage and the challenges carers face every day. Mum and Daughter Jinny and Hannah Slack have a remarkable relationship. Hannah’s physical and mental health has impacted on the family from time to time and she hears voices. Jinny supports Hannah and Hannah supports Jinny.
In Part 1 Jinny and Hannah spoke about family work within our Trust and how it turned their lives around. In In Part 2 they talked about the significance and mutual benefits of volunteering and support groups for carers and families.
In the final part of Jinny and Hannah’s story they share some of the things they do together and on their own to look after their health and wellbeing. They tell us about the changes in their lives and the support they give to each other.
Hannah was keen to share her experiences, ‘I go to Maastricht training on my own. I was introduced to this by Peter Bullimore who works with people who hear voices ‘. Mum drives me there.’ Jinny commented. ‘I meet up with a friend after dropping Hannah off and I go off for some ‘me time. Hannah has been taught to find coping strategies for hearing voices and how to deal with them; ‘I tell them to go away and they are less negative now and more positive’. Mum Jinny explained that any form of talking therapy helps Hannah so when I asked Hannah what she said to her voices she was very candid saying, ‘What you did is wrong and I’m angry at you ‘**** off’ !
Jinny and Hannah have found ways to destress and relax. Mum Jinny commented. ‘I garden, I grow fresh fruit and veg and my neighbours cook with it as I’m not a very good cook! I’ve got a good close community and my neighbours are great’.
Hannah goes to the ladies gym, ‘It’s good exercise and helps the voices go’. Hannah has recently lost three stones in weight meaning she has been able to return back to her pre-diabetic levels through diet alone and her blood tests have been clear for over two years’.
Hannah said ‘ I use a Fitbit to work up to 10,000 steps a day. I also make jewellery about my voices which have been bought by fellow voice hearers. I volunteer at a jewellery shop in Retford and I’m well supported. I can also do the ironing now that my medication for my voices have been reduced and it gives me more independence.’ Mum Jinny was keen to share that the main reason Hannah has been able to reduce her medication is down to her understanding of her voices and then finding ways to cope with them.
What Hannah and Jinny both agreed on was that ‘Laughter is the best tonic‘ for feeling Healthy and Happy!