Ibrahim has learnt skills to manage the mental health difficulties he was experiencing, overcome challenges in his life and build confidence in his abilities. Despite being severely visually impaired Ibrahim is able to use his new confidence to take part in community groups and form new relationships.
The Kirklees Insight teamwork with people who are experiencing psychosis for the first time. They aim to help people manage their condition by providing psychological and social interventions, supporting them to become active within their community and return to work or education, through an accessible and flexible approach.
Here Ibrahim, who lives in Batley, recounts his experiences and the help the Kirklees Insight team have given him to manage the mental health difficulties he was experiencing, overcome challenges in his life and build confidence in his abilities.
“From the age of 14, my sight has deteriorated to the point that I am now severely visually impaired. I have also experienced difficulties in my personal life and with my mental health which had a major impact on my confidence. I withdrew from my community and found it very difficult to communicate with others or trust people in my life.
“I was referred to the Kirklees Insight team by my GP. At first, I was very wary of the team and found it difficult to let them into my life. However, my support worker did not give up and gradually we have been able to work together, building a relationship of trust.
“Gradually, with support, I have rebuilt my confidence by getting involved in new activities and meeting new people. As I have always been a big sports fan, I was encouraged to join local teams and through contact with the Leeds Blind Association, I have joined a Goalball league. We play regularly in Leeds and I have really enjoyed the social aspect of being part of the team as well as using my sporting skills again.
“In order to get to the groups, I have worked hard to overcome difficulties I had travelling outside my local area and using public transport – and again this is something I have been helped to confront. I am now confident walking with my cane, using the train and navigating different train stations!
“Overcoming these difficulties has also enabled me to keep up with my friends and integrate with activities and groups within my community. This has been a real boost for me as I am a sociable person. I have also re-engaged with my faith – and this has had a really big impact on my life.
“The Insight teamwork with individuals for a set period of time, therefore recently I have worked closely with them on setting goals for my future. We have developed business plans that would enable me to pursue a career that utilises my strengths of being able to read English and Arabic Braille. I have researched what would be possible, considered how I would source materials and looked at my potential costs and profits. This was challenging as I had never done anything like this before, however, my support worker gave me the tools to do this and encouraged me to continue when I ran into difficulty.
“He also encouraged me to attend a local Business Link event. I had never attended a public event like this but with support, I was comfortable in listening to the lectures and speaking with other people there.
“I am now developing a learning course that will teach participants to read the Holy Quran in Arabic Braille. I worked hard when I was younger to memorise the Quran, an achievement that I am very proud of, and I am looking forward to sharing this with others. A local Arabic school has offered to support me to run these courses and I am currently raising awareness within my local community of the course and signing people up.
“I do not think I would be where I am today without the support of the Insight team and my faith. Re-connecting with my faith played a massive part in helping me have the confidence to do the activities that the Insight team have introduced me to and it is their continued encouragement that has enabled me to build on my strengths and be in a position today where I am confident to move forward with my life and seek new opportunities.”
More information about the help available from the Trust’s insight teams is available here.