Minaj’s story: overcoming mental health issues with digital

Minaj's mental health was so bad she barely left the house, but after improving her digital skills and connecting with her community, she is happier than ever.

Here, Minaj kindly shares her story with us:

Mental health struggles

“15 years ago, my life was on a downward spiral. I had just got out of a very aggressive and abusive relationship and I had to be moved for my own safety. From there, my mental health declined. I struggled to get out of the house and for 10 years I sat at home with no one to talk to. I had nothing, I was alone in my house completely isolated, not knowing how to connect with the outside world. 

Something within me was telling me ‘you can’t do this for the rest of your life’. I knew that I couldn’t stay like this for any longer, it wasn’t enough for me and I needed more from life.  You know when you’re starving and you need food? That is the kind of hunger I was feeling for just anything that could help my mental health.

I decided to make an appointment at the doctors for CBT therapy and after one of my sessions I noticed a poster for digital classes. I was intrigued so I asked more about it. A lady asked me if I would be interested in doing the course and I said ‘damn right I would’.”

A turning point: discovering Learn My Way

“I knew how to use a computer but not very well, my son used to try and show me but I couldn’t get to grips with it before discovering Learn My Way. I was desperate to learn new skills and get out of the house. I knew I needed something to sharpen my mind. I wasn’t interacting with any people so I thought why not just go for it, you’ve got to open your hands to receive. I came to North Manchester Community Partnership and started the Learn My Way courses and it was brilliant. 

Learning how to use a computer helped me to do so many things. It helped me to sort out my medication, I learnt how to order my prescription on the NHS app which I didn’t have a clue how to do before. Now I know how to use comparison sites, do online shopping and more. It has helped me learn how to eat properly because my diet wasn’t great before. I improved my skills so much that I was able to become a digital mentor at the hub and now I’ve been working here for 6 years.”

Connecting with the outside world

“My son is so proud of me. He said to me the other day, ‘we wouldn’t have thought that five years ago you would be in work full time and off the social.’ It is the best thing I’ve ever done, it has taught me that if you don’t open the doors, you’re not going to get any help. I am buzzing with where I am now, I’m interacting with people, I understand how to use a computer so much more now. 

I can’t thank Good Things Foundation enough, I would never have pushed myself. It was only because I saw the digital course advertised that I got the push I needed to get out the house. I actually think if I hadn’t done that I would probably be dead now because my mental health was so bad. When you haven’t got that connection with the outside world it is really isolating, I wouldn’t go to shops or interact with people. But through volunteering I learnt how to interact with people in the correct way and now I love it. 

I would promote Good Things Foundation and Learn My Way because it was the only way forward for me. People need this now.”

Find out more about our digital inclusion services

Our vision is a world where everyone benefits from digital - we want people to be digitally able, equal and safe, and to help more people like Minaj.


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