John is a determined, strong, kind and resilient parent, son and friend. John has struggled with his mental health throughout his 20s, which is the reason he came to Care Network Hub. John has since been introduced to tools, techniques and services that continue to help keep his depression and anxiety at bay. Now, in his 30s, he finds himself with better mental health and is living a life he is proud of.

In this interview John proudly tells us his story and all the things he has achieved over the last few years. He has overcome barriers, seized opportunities and his confidence and self-esteem has increased, he is now both healthier and happier.

From the first time John came into Care Network Hub, and then throughout his time using the service, he has benefited from encouragement, clarification and reassurances from Care Network staff, been given information on options available to him, and referred to the following services:

  • Lancashire Mind, Keeping Well: One-to-one sessions, delivering low-intensity interventions to help John build his resilience, develop healthy coping strategies, and improve his wellbeing and quality of life. Sessions involved guided self-help, goal setting, thought challenging, diary planning, relaxation and breathing techniques.
  • Blackburn with Darwen Adult Learning - Five Ways to Wellbeing: Further reinforced techniques and lifestyle changes to create improved health and wellbeing. The course also helped him overcome social anxieties, giving him the confidence to participate in other group opportunities.
  • Inspire: John had been drinking more than he wanted to. He recognised alcohol was having a detrimental effect on his life. Inspire supported John to work on ways to reduce his alcohol intake.
  • Creative Football: John is passionate about football and was really excited to be introduced to Creative Support’s Social Inclusion Football League. Playing for Care Network Hub FC John has flourished and has proved to be a great team player and has been fully committed to the team and to fellow players.
  • Spring North and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, Community Ambassador Programme: Part of the borough’s Our Community, Our Future, social integration programme, the 12 week course gave John new experiences in his home town, increased his confidence and further developed his network and his knowledge of issues facing our community. It helped him consider what he might do in the future around supporting other people from his local area.
  • BwD Local Offer, Parent Champion: Although this wasn’t an opportunity John was connected with through Care Network, it has been a significant part of his journey. Being a Parent Champion involves giving support to other parents and carers of children and young people with a special educational need or disability, to point them in the right direction of advice and services relevant to their situation using Blackburn with Darwen’s Local Offer website.

Health and Wellbeing: John has committed to working through his barriers and difficulties. His confidence and overall wellbeing has improved and he manages stress better. He has made significant changes to his lifestyle, and is now a lot more active, which has improved his mental and physical health. John goes out of his way to help other people. He has made new friends, learnt new skills and is an active, caring and compassionate member of our community.

‘I stuck with Care Network because it was the only place out there that I trusted. I’ve gone from not being able to walk into a room full of people, and with support from Care Network, my confidence is so so good…  I can approach people in the street now and not feel like I’m going to get my head caved in because of the anxiety… Anxiety is always going to be there for me but I know how to deal with it a lot better… it’s the furthest I’ve ever come in my whole life.