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Project Worker, Andy Royles – My Recovery Journey


Project Worker at ClwydAlyn, Andy Royles has recently opened up about his battle with mental health, saying how talking about his journey openly has helped him.

Andy, who’s a vital part of the ClwydAlyn team at The Quay Project, in Flintshire spoke to us about his recovery journey for Mental Health Awareness week, 2022.

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Andy’s journey has been far from straightforward. However, his challenges and victories have shaped him to become the person he is today, and he has committed to help others who are struggling with their mental wellbeing.

 

Andy said: “Mental health is something we should all be talking about. It can affect us all from children and young adults all the way to older people.  It’s something I’ve experienced for a long time and I’m proud to say that I’m now in a good place and I’m on a mission to help others achieve a healthy mind.”

Since 2012 Andy has worked as an educator for Time to Change Wales, an organisation that is part of the UK-wide campaign to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. Giving presentations at workplaces and organisations on his personal story and recovery journey.

 

He said: “My mission is to get more people talking openly about their health and wellbeing. I’ve put a lot of myself into the presentation and feel a great sense of pride for every talk I give. Talking about mental health has been life-changing for me, and It’s been a great way for me to reach male audiences, which is an underrepresented area.

“It’s very rewarding to know that my talks have helped those struggling and has opened doors to allow them to talk to their friends and family and encouraged further discussions around their struggles.”

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we are raising awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it.

Loneliness is affecting more and more of us and has had a huge impact on our physical and mental health during the pandemic. Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health and we need to find better ways of tackling the epidemic of loneliness.

 

Andy added: “So much in mental health is about talking and we can all play a part in tackling it. Giving people a friendly ear to listen can make all the difference, and it’s been a big step forward to be able to talk about mental health and inspire others.”

Andy’s journey hasn’t been easy, however through his drive and determination he has successfully managed to restart his life, getting back on the career ladder and has worked his way from a volunteer to his current role as Project Worker with ClwydAlyn in 2021.

He now hopes to build on the experience and training he’s had in mental health, and study further to gain more qualifications in counselling with the Open University, so he can continue helping others.

 

He added: “I love the fact that I’ve been able to link my experiences with my past and current work. I’ve been able to sympathise with those who have been on the streets, and I understand how it is more important than ever to support people into work, having been there myself as well as help those individuals find a home.”

“I’m pleased to say that I’ve turned my life around and I’m proud to be able to help others with ClwydAlyn. This is just the beginning of my journey and I’m looking forward to see others join me.”

 

Further information and support on mental health is available at Mind Cymru, where they are working to ensure everyone in Wales has access to the mental health information, support and services they need: www.mind.org.uk/about-us/mind-cymru/

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