‘What would Paddy do?’- PSS project worker Paddy Morton nominated for national award.

Earlier this year Jon, who uses our Wellbeing Centres, nominated Project Worker Paddy Morton (centre on the pic above)  for an All in the Mind Award. Paddy made it to the second round of these highlight competitive awards, here is the nomination Jon submitted.

‘I honestly believe that Paddy is the most able mental health professional I have ever worked with. He’s been supporting me on courses, in 1-1 sessions and on the phone since 2003. He always responds to whatever I say, is never phased and appears un-shockable.

I have suffered mental health problems all my life. I remember desperately waiting to join in with games in the school playground but not being asked. I had very few friends during childhood. Aged 10 I had withdrawn from the playground as much as possible to escape bullying. By then I was dogged with the sleeplessness, agoraphobia, communication problems that have hounded me all my whole life.

Of course my insularity was the result of the terrible home life I suffered. My mum was a classical abuser, showing her best face to the outside world and her worst to me. My father disappeared when I was 5, he was Bengali. I was raised by my whole family with no mention of my Indian heritage, identity problems followed as surely as night follows day.

Childhood withdrawal led to teenage instability, my first bi-polar episode appeared when I changed schools at 16 and again when I started University at 18, My first major manic episode resulted in me being sectioned at 28 and diagnosed with bi-polar.

It was after hospital that I first met Paddy by joining an anger management course he was delivering at PSS Umbrella Centre. I was experiencing constant violent fantasies of attacking people. I think it was the first time I saw a practical model and how to apply it to my own situation. I was struck by Paddy’s patience and ability to respond to anything that the participants said. I noticed an improvement in my internal anger and was now able to monitor and counter it by using techniques Paddy had taught.

In 2009 my mum died and I experienced many recovered memories and I suffered a severe mental breakdown narrowly avoiding being sectioned due to an exgirlfriends support. I returned to the Umbrella Centre and Paddy supported me to attend an anxiety management course. Of course you don’t overcome a lifetimes trauma in 7 weeks, no matter how good the teachers are! That was when I started seeing Paddy regularly, first on a weekly basis and now on a monthly basis.

It’s hard to sum up how much Paddy has helped me, from the basics of anxiety and stress management, breathing and visualisation techniques, assertiveness to Gestalt psychology, yoga and energy work. We have talked in the centre and he has accompanied me on walks around Liverpool to help me with my anxiety, agoraphobia and social phobia.

He is pragmatic, approachable, caring and down to earth. A true stereotypical salt of the earth scouser! I don’t know where I’d be without Paddy and The Umbrella Centre. He/they have been a lifeline for me over the years. Sometimes when I don’t know how to cope I think, What would Paddy say?’