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Profile: Samuel Lupton
Subject: BA Theology and Religious Studies
Institution: University of Glasgow
I am a mature student returning to education after seven years of mental health difficulties. I am being funded by the Students Awards Agency for Scotland which pays the tuition fees of those in receipt of state benefits, as I still get income support, and low rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
I moved into student accommodation, and after the premises were registered with the council, I could receive Housing Benefit. I am soon to apply for a Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs), hopefully to get a computer for my new flat.
At the University there is a disability service to help with such matters as DSA, and also to inform the staff though the web-surf, a student profile with your academic and personal details. They recommended that I attend the student learning service, who talked through the most conducive way to study - short spells to maximise my concentration span. Although the University has a health centre I am under the care of the NHS with a community psychiatric nurse and psychiatrist. I have been told that routine is very important for recovery, as is physical exercise.
Although I am still on three types of medication, I am over the worst of it. I hope I can use what I have experienced over the years, since my first admittance to hospital with an acute psychotic episode, to positive effect. I firmly believe that the resilience that you build up, which I’m sure is the same in all types of disability, can be used for beneficial results. In my case, this will be to go on to postgraduate studies in theology at the end of my 5-6 year course.
I hope what I have written will be of some use practically. More importantly, to any one with similar conditions of schizophrenia and depression, there is light at the end of the tunnel, even though it is a long and arduous journey. You can do it!
Sam moved from Glasgow and is now studying a part-time BA Joint Honours in English Literature and Theology and Religious studies at Christ Church University Canterbury.
[Updated January 2009]
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