"I'm happy. Something I haven't said for many years."

About: NHS Salford CCG Six Degrees Social Enterprise (CIC)

(as the patient),

I've been suffering from and struggling with depression for the last 2 years. It was an awful, horrible and dark time. I was fobbed off with anti-depressants from my old GP in Nottingham and never offered any kind of counselling or therapy.

I moved up to Manchester 18 months a go and eventually my depression got worse. My GP at the Mosslands Medical practice in Irlam talked to me like a real person and made everything very logical and easy to understand. The anti-depressants were prescribed again but this time I was referred to the mental health worker at the practice. I kept putting it off as I thought I could get better on my own. It turns out I couldn't.

Before I started seeing the mental health worker my relationship broke down and we split up. Unfortunately it was this that sparked something in my head that made me realise it was time to make a change. I started seeing a counsellor through work who made me realise a lot and was great to chat to - this lasted for around 9 weeks. I knew that although I had realised a lot, I didn't have a lot in place to stop myself from slipping back into my old ways so I contacted Six Degrees and made an appointment.

I can honestly say it has been the most help I have ever had in the last 2 years. Forget about the stereotypical 'lying on a bed with a box of tissues tell me about your feelings' stuff - this is about sitting down, in a normal environment telling your mental health worker what's going on and what your thought process is.

I was very quiet and ashamed of my mental health problems and I can say this service is very discreet. You just sit in the normal doctors waiting room and my mental health worker, Tanya, came to get me. Tanya was brilliant. She was like a friend, treated anything I said with respect and made me realise I wasn't crazy and that I was only human.

She told me about how I could approach situations that I had often avoided that lead to me being depressed in the first place. It's basically CBT but she never referred to it as that. She was brilliant. She made me feel at ease and really focussed on the great things I had done and was amazing at turning negative experiences into positives.

Don't get me wrong you have to work at this as well. The only person that can make the change is you, but my biggest bit of advice is to get support from people who are trained to help you because it is worth it. You aren't alone. I had my final session today and, although I know Tanya is there if I need her services again, I know I am pretty much on the mend and maybe after a few more months I can look at coming off the anti-depressants... oh and I'm back with my partner again, I've lost 2 and a half stone and I'm happy. Something I haven't said for many years...

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Response from Chardworth Dhliwayo, Operational Manager, Six Degrees Social Enterprise

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide this valuable feedback. We are pleased that your experience of using our service has been a positive one and we have been able to help you change things for the better.

We will share your feedback with the rest of the team. Please feel free to get in touch if you have further comments.

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