I have always found in my
career in mental health that it is hope that inspires the journey of recovery.
It is often rarely found when we are in our darkest moments, but a spark of
hope can make such a huge difference to us when it is mixed with kindness.
I was touched this week to
hear the story of a Holocaust survivor who was sent along with her family to
Auschwitz concentration camp.
Lily Ebert was 14 when she
and her family were taken from their home in Bonyhád Hungary to Auschwitz.
Whilst Lily and her two sisters were selected to work, her mother, sister and
a brother perished in the death camps.
Lily is now 90 years old
and recalled how American troops found her and the remaining prisoners on the
"We were liberated
after a few days walking without food, without water, without shoes,"
she said, adding that they were "half dead".
"When they liberated
us, we wanted only to get in somewhere, sit down and sleep and we were so
hungry and thirsty. We were still afraid."
But she recalls a soldier
who wrote touching messages on a banknote and gave it to her.
The note was inscribed with
"a start to a new life" and "good luck and happiness".
"He was the first
person who was kind and wasn't an enemy," said Lily.
This story inspired me to
think how a small gift of hope from a stranger who was kind made such a difference
to a person who had lost so much and had known such suffering.
We can all give that gift
of hope, we can all be that stranger who was kind and we can all make a
difference everyday to someone who is suffering.
The wonderful end to the
story was that after all these years, Lily’s grandson was able to track down
that soldier’s family and she was able to talk to them via Zoom.
She told them what hope,
and kindness could do together.
Here's a message from one of our service users. "There
is a smile for everybody everywhere and I’m sending this smile to you. Please
make time to be kind and share with all of your heros. Sending
with lots of kindness and care."
the river flows but nothing breathes
A train arrives but never leaves, it's a shame
Oh, life like love that's walked out of the door
Of being rich or being poor, such a shame
But it's then, then that faith arrives
To make your feelings alive
And that's why, you should keep on aiming high
Just seek yourself and you will shine
You've got to search for the hero inside yourself
Search for the secrets you hide
Search for the hero inside yourself
Until you find the key to your life
First Response is staffed by mental health professionals from the Trust and will provide reassurance, self-help advice and support, plus direct people to other services when necessary, avoiding the need for them to attend hospital, except in the case of a medical emergency.
The number is 0808 196 3494. Callers will hear a recorded message instructing them to press either 1 or 2, depending on whether they are a professional or member of the public.
For more information, visit www.nsft.uk/helpline
Keeping in touch and sharing ideas
We will be regularly updating this page with new information, resources and material. We're also active on social media (#NSFTjoinin), where we'll share ways to support your wellbeing and ask you to share the things that are helping you get through.