Sophia’s Story

I found myself homeless after escaping an abusive relationship. Over time this relationship had left me feeling hopeless and alone. Things got so bad – one day they locked me in the house and went missing. I couldn’t get out and didn’t know what to do. In desperation, I took an overdose, but luckily the fire brigade found me in time, after the mental health team put a shout out.

“Victim Support advised me to leave the town where I’d been living. I wanted to go back to where I was brought up, but they were afraid for my safety – that it was too close to my ex-partner.”

They gave me a ticket to the south coast, to be with my mum and stepdad. But they only had a one-bedroom flat. I had to sleep on a two-seater sofa. It wasn’t helping my mental health and dealing with all the feelings I had about what had happened to me.

Things got more difficult, and I was worrying our relationship would break down as it had before when I was 16. My mental health was in a terrible state. I felt I couldn’t stay there much longer, but I didn’t know where to turn. I even tried to talk to my old mental health team from where I used to live, because I needed help. I lost my benefits and couldn’t get my medication. It was really bad.

I had slept rough before, when I was a teenager, and it had been so frightening. I could only go to sleep when the sun came up, because that was when people were around and I felt safer. This time, I was fortunate to find the help I needed before I ended up on the streets again.

“Everything changed when I became involved with Turning Tides.”

They provided me with accommodation. It wasn’t just a roof over my head – it was a place to feel safe and hopeful for the future. I also regularly visit the community hub – it’s really good. If I’m having a bad day, people understand, and they’ll give me space because that’s what I need. There’s a really good mix of people that go.

My keyworker helped me get everything sorted properly and came to my doctor’s appointments. All my needs were taken into consideration to get my health back in order.

“They really supported me with my mental health. Massively. And now I’ve got involved with mental health peer support. It’s a real passion of mine. Everything’s moved back round for me, but in the right way.”

They’ve motivated and encouraged me with the training I’m doing. The staff and other residents are really happy to see me achieving stuff, which is even more rewarding. I feel seen and heard. I have a room in one of Turning Tides’ projects now. I can sleep at normal times and am trying to leave all the fear behind.

“They take all your complexities into consideration, and help you heal. Turning Tides make you realise you’re more than where you’ve come from.”