"At last I am better able to understand and help my sister with her mental health issues. EMBRACE has involved me, rather than leaving me on the side-lines, which had always been my experience before."

EMBRACE Family and Friends story

Teenagers sitting and talking

“I have been supporting my sister with mental health problems for many years. She has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals, and has struggled for years with anxiety and depression. I never really knew much about her issues, but could see that she was unwell.

Since coming to the EMBRACE programme, my sister has started to move on in life and even volunteer. I have also been regularly attending their Friends and Family sessions, and I learnt about mental health and what to do to help and support my sister. I attended psycho-educational workshops, and I felt I could understand what this is all about.

“At EMBRACE, there is no hierarchy and it’s just everyone on the same level.”

At EMBRACE, there is no hierarchy and it’s just everyone on the same level. A lot of people don’t feel safe when they have someone in authority with them. A lot of people don’t like authority. That was always my issue with medical professionals telling me what was wrong with my sister, but no help in understanding was given. I now know that with EMBRACE my sister is able to recognise when she is either going on a low or a major high. I spoke to other family members attending their support sessions, and this group is so essential for people who are generally struggling. It helps people to find themselves and a sense of purpose.”


Photo of Michael, Mark and Gary

Michael, Mark and Gary

A story from people who have been part of Slough’s Hope College/EMBRACE programmes to give readers inspiration and hope for the future.

Find out about Michael, Mark and Gary
Photo of Gary


Gary took part in the Art Beyond Belief Looking Glass programme; anxiety got the better of him during his first attempt, but he returned to complete the programme the second time. You can see more of his work from the programme on our website.

Find out about Gary