Founder's story

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Sherrill Searle

Founder & CEO

I was born an only child. My father was my rock. We shared precious moments, some happy, some sad, in an otherwise lonely childhood.

As often happens with those we love, I instinctively knew from an early age that something wasn't right. Returning  from boarding school I would  ask my mother why, (as it appeared to me), my father was only ill and often in tears, when I was at home. My family sadly thought it better to keep me in the dark about his illness.  I grew to be a very concerned and sensitive child.

 

At the age of fifteen, my fifty-two-year-old father took his life.  I was left feeling completely numb, guilty, and carrying a weight of unanswered questions. To this day I find it difficult to cry.

As a child my father called me Squirrel, so in his honour Luna the Squirrel has become SOLVE’s mascot that can be kept in your pocket and used to help relieve your anxiety and depression.  If you take out a Membership, Luna makes up part of your membership package or she can be purchased from SOLVE's Shop if you do not need help.  <create hyperlink>

At the age of forty-six, following many years of problems, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  I was a single parent bringing up my son, who was sixteen years of age at that time. Diagnosis might have helped me to understand the reasons behind my often-conflicting feelings, but it did not ease the darkness of the journey and the suffering that was to follow.

In 2017 I was lucky enough to meet a well-respected London psychiatrist. I consider that day one of the most fortunate of my whole life.  I remember his words as I left his office on that first day – “I will get you on the minimum of medication with the maximum effect” to manage the condition effectively. A couple of weeks later,  quite literally the light was switched on for me to lead the now fulfilling life I live and enabled me to start to change the lives of people around me.

 

It has taken a lifetime to add up all the pieces and learn from experiences, however it has certainly given me a greater insight and wealth of knowledge into all aspects of mental health and I feel this gives me the experience required to understand most aspects of mental health and set up the SOLVE Charity following a long and complex journey. I would like to extend my grateful thanks to all those people who have stood by me and helped me to put SOLVE together and on the map.  Together we all move forward to deliver community-based mental health services in the knowledge that we have the most important elements of empathy and understanding in order  to relieve the burden that so many of us face.

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