Belfast Telegraph

'I owe my life to Mandy and the Compass team'

Case Study

Jimmy Greer
Jimmy Greer

Two years ago, Jimmy Greer (67) was on the verge of taking his own life.

After battling depression and drugs for decades, he arrived at the door of Compass Counselling and credits the service with saving his life.

Today he says he feels like the rug is being pulled from under his feet as the service stands on the verge of closure due to a lack of funding.

"They rescued me. That's no exaggeration," Jimmy said.

"I have no idea what I'll do if they aren't around any more.

"I owe my life to Mandy McDermott and her team.

"I've been battling depression since I was 16.

"I wasn't getting any real help.

"I always ended up back in the same place.

"Two years ago I was ready to end it all.

"Other members of my family have been in the same situation.

"I've lost a nephew to suicide.

"My son has attempted suicide three times. I have a 14-year-old grandson now and I want to know someone will be there to support him if he needs it as no-one was there for me, or my children, all through the years."

Jimmy added: "I got involved with drugs when I was young. I lost my way. In west Belfast you were never too far away from the Troubles.

"That's a legacy a lot of people are still living with and it wasn't until I built up a trust with Mandy that all those issues came pouring out.

"It's frightening to think a crucial service won't be there any more. In all the coffee mornings and fundraising events I have attended, I have yet to see one of our local politicians come along to show any sort of support.

"Politicians need to start realising there are organisations out there doing wonderful work.

"They need to start showing support by action not just words.

"If Compass does indeed disappear, the community will have been badly let down."

Belfast Telegraph

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