A WOMAN whose depression was so bad she did not leave her house for four months has told how a Whitton charity helped turn her life around.
Rebecca (not her real name) has suffered serious anxiety attacks and bouts of depression since the age of 11, frequently ending up in hospital after self-harming.
Her problems reached their nadir when her anxiety attacks became so bad she was unable to finish her A-levels and went four months without leaving her front door.
However, less than a year after first visiting Changez, the 21-year-old has just begun a counselling course at a local college - something she could not even have envisaged 12 months ago.
Rebecca, who has 'emotionally unstable personality disorder', credits the charity with helping transform her life and says she doesn't know where she would be today without it.
"Everyone at Changez is really professional but it feels so much less clinical than other places I've been to. Everyone's so caring and it doesn't feel like there's a glass barrier," she said.
"From a young age, I was ending up in hospital on a regular basis after self-harming or over-dosing, but it's been nearly a year now since I've had to go.
"I've always found it hard to leave the house and being able to take this counselling course really shows how much I've changed."
Rebecca, who lives in Hounslow, added that she feels such a debt of gratitude towards the charity she has started volunteering for it, doing administrative work and helping with fundraising.
Psychotherapist Kate Hudson-Hall launched Changez from her home in Powdermill Lane, Whitton, about 18 months ago.
The 48-year-old, who credits such therapies with helping her beat bulimia and anorexia in her youth, set up the charity to provide free and cut-price treatment for those who would not otherwise be able to afford it.
Changez has grown rapidly since, with more than 70 clients and about 30 therapists on its books, offering everything from counselling to reflexology.
Business secretary and Twickenham MP Vince Cable is already a patron of the charity and Kate Middleton expressed an interest in the position earlier this year, although she has yet to assume the role.
Mrs Hudson-Hall said Changez, which relies entirely on donations, receives a lot of referrals from GPs because waiting lists for similar treatment on the NHS are routinely six months and can be much longer.
* For more about Changez, visit www.changez.me.uk or call 020 8404 9374.
* Changez is holding its next fundraiser on Thursday, October 6. The Board Breaking Event, a positive thinking evening in which participants will learn how to smash through a block of wood using just their hands, will take place at the Coach & Horses Hotel in Kew Green, from 6.30-9.30pm. For more information or to book a ticket, costing £25, call Changez on 020 8404 9374 or email email@example.com.