Mental Health Senior Peer Support Worker in West London

Hey everyone, my name is Ellie and I am a Senior Mental Health Peer Support Worker for Build on Belief.

Alcoholism has played a big part in shaping my life, after experiencing the consequences of this growing up. Seeing alcohol misuse in my family was ‘normal’* to me as a child and the abuse and aggression that came with this from family members became like second nature- I thought that everybody acted like this when drinking. It wasn’t until I grew up that I challenged this idea of ‘normal’ and realised that not everyone experiences these behaviours. This part of my life, as well as dealing with mental health issues, encouraged me to go down the path of studying psychology at university.

My degree exposed me to a variety of different viewpoints and psychological approaches, giving me an understanding of the complexity of human behaviour. I loved learning about behaviour and being able to see what I had learnt in everyday life, using this knowledge to complete my final year project about the relationship between addiction and stigma. As you do at university, you party hard and enjoy living carefree. However, after experiencing some challenging life events, I got into a cycle where I would be out most nights drinking, using it as an escape mechanism from all the mental pressures I was experiencing. It got to the point where I started to go down a dark path and stopped being the fun, exciting, vibrant Ellie I once was when we went out, to a moody and angry Ellie who I didn’t even like, so how could I expect anyone else to like me that way? It was at this point where my friends and family supported me to get counselling to help improve my mental health which has given me the right tools to deal with my emotions in a positive way, allowing me to be the fun Ellie again!  

During university, I volunteered at Lewisham Voluntary Services where I spent one morning a week at a drop-in centre for individuals with severe mental health issues. I then got a full-time job at a nursery in Clapham where I got promoted to a supervisor, however after realising there was no progression there, I decided it was time for me to pursue my passion for mental health. This is when I came across the BOB mental health peer support role. After looking into the charity and realising that I could flip my negative childhood experiences into a positive, where I could try to support those with addiction, I jumped at the chance to apply and here I am!

I enjoy being free-spirited, travelling, dancing and having fun, so I am hoping that I’ll be able to bring some of this to the amazing BOB family.

*FYI- I don’t like the social construct of ‘normal’, I don’t think anyone is, we are all special in our own way

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 07739 796047