Mental health nurse turned patient gearing up for sponsored walk to fund book

Rachel Davis

Rachel Davis - Credit: Rachel Davis

An Exmouth mental health nurse who suffered with her own stress-related illness is gearing up is raising funds to publish a book about her experiences. 

Rachel Davis, of Hamilton Road, will be walking between Exmouth and Exminster in February in a bid to fund the book about her experiences as a mental health patient. 

The 37-year-old works for the Devon Partnership Trust but in 2019 was diagnosed with mental health issues including depression. 

During this time, Rachel had what she described as an ‘acute psychotic episode’ but received treatment and was discharged from hospital. 

Now she has decided to write a book about her experience. 

She said: “I have been writing the story since I was discharged from hospital as it was a good way for me to process the experience and try to make sense of it.  

“I found it hard to do this alone more recently and was advised to work with a ghost-writer to protect me from being re-traumatised and alone with the memories.” 

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Rachel has found a writer who is helping her to get the book finished, but needs to raise extra money to get it published. 

“It is my hope that the book will appeal to a wide audience and help with the ongoing work to get everyone talking about mental health and give it the same parity of esteem as physical health.  

“With the pandemic, nearly everyone is feeling some pressure or sadness and I believe it is a good chance to reach out to people without previous personal experience of mental health problems and try to change the culture, tackle the stigma and stop the discrimination that still occurs. 

“I think the poignant part of my story is that mental health professionals are seen as having all the answers...but we are all susceptible to becoming unwell.  

“There is no weakness in a fall, but there is great strength in recovery.” 

So far Rachel has raised more than £800 and, on February 19, will be doing a sponsored 10 mile walk from Countness Wear along the Exe Estuary Trail to her home in Exmouth.  

Anyone wanting to donate can do so by going to https://www.gofundme.com/f/x98fg-rae-of-hope?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer  

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