This is Mary’s story about her experience of dignity in her mental health journey. She and others from Gateway Mental Health Association in Rathmines have given permission for us to print their Dignity Stories.
I was in a bad ‘aul place. I felt disconnected and alone. Not knowing where to turn, someone suggested gateway, a community project which was something different, and definitely something new for me.
As I got off the 16 bus and headed for Mount Drummond I was feeling nervous and excited at the same time. Excited that this might be a place for me and also nervous that I mightn’t fit in.
Making my way through the gates and past the trees I could see a colourful sign for gateway in a window on the ground floor. Looking in I could see people laughing and chatting around a big table. Filled suddenly with anxiety, I turned to leave.
I didn’t get far however before one of the project workers came out to ask my name. Her welcoming approach put me at ease and I relaxed enough to follow her in for a cup of tea, where much to my relief everybody was just as kind and friendly.
Five years on I’m proud to say that I’m still a member of Gateway. It’s my second home, a place where I can relax and be myself. Wouldn’t it be great if there were warm welcomes like this everywhere?