AN INSPIRATIONAL deaf man who wanted to take his own life after a battle with homelessness and mental health issues is celebrating after turning his life around.

For the first time in 17 years, Scott King is getting set to move into his own flat and is now even a mentor for those facing the darkest times of their lives.

Thanks to the life-changing support he has received from BCHA (Bournemouth Churches Housing Association), he has even had the confidence to wear hearing aids which have transformed his life.

Bravely sharing his story of hope to mark World Mental Health Day, Scott said: “It was very difficult for me to let people in to start with but the support has helped me find belief in myself and I find it very comforting.

“Fear is a massive factor.

“To get where I am today feels really wonderful.

“I feel more comfortable just being me and accepting support when it is there rather than struggling alone. It is okay to need help, to need support and that doesn’t make me any less of a person.

“I can still live a life where I can be happy and do the things that I love doing.

“The quote I like is ‘the more open to possibility, the more possibilities open.’”

The 36-year-old was made homeless in 2000 due to low income, low support and mental health issues.

He walked the coast from Bournemouth to Southampton and eventually to Great Yarmouth.

Scott said: “The voices I could hear kept making me walk, so I did. They told me my whole family had been murdered which made me keep going and not looking back.”

Scott suffered health issues with his feet as the voices he heard did not like him to wear socks.

He slept rough and was subjected to terrifying assaults which left him in hospital.

“I was very badly beaten up. I was scared out of my skin but it was odd. I never lost hope. Even when I didn’t think there was any hope, I had a false hope, I would pretend, just so I could get through the day. I always felt like something was looking after me.

“It wasn’t easy. I had to beg for money. It was quite humiliating but I thought if I couldn’t eat, I wouldn’t be able to survive.

“Hope is a massive factor in my life.

“Every day I find something I am grateful for. I suppose through that experience it has taught me a lot of gratitude.”

Scott was admitted to a secure psychiatric unit in Norfolk and transferred to St Ann’s Hospital for around three months.

However not used to being treated kindly after the abuse he endured, he did not speak for a while.

Scott was transferred to Hahnemann House in Bournemouth for around a year where slowly he began to understand his mental health issues.

After moving into a supported accommodation for people with mental health issues though, Scott began using drugs and was readmitted on several occasions to St Ann’s.

Scott recalls at his lowest, he was so depressed he ran at traffic, cracking his skull and suffering a multitude of other injuries.

“It’s an easy thing to go into denial. When it is at its worst, it seems like an absolute struggle, a real hole.

“You just don’t want to talk to anybody.”

Today though, Scott says he is a different person. He kicked his drugs addiction and has not been admitted to St Ann’s for more than five years.

For more than a year he has been receiving valuable support from BCHA and life has never been better.

He is even getting set to move into his own flat and live completely independently for the first time in almost 17 years.

Today he volunteers for the organisation as a Peer Mentor, making tea and listening to those who are new to the support provider.

“BCHA has never given up on me. They keep encouraging me no matter what. I felt I had a lot of fear, anger, hatred but there would be people who saw something in me worth saving.

“I was very frustrated before, especially because I struggled to hear, I’d say the same things all the time because my hearing was so bad and my support worker persisted with me and I got a hearing test and the moulds fitted. It’s changed my life.

“I help out at groups. I make them feel welcome and relaxed. I think everyone is worthy of someone’s time and understanding.

“I say to people there is always hope, always.

“I feel I have a lot more love and a lot more compassion now.”