New trauma for Horsham mum held by robbers at gunpoint

A Horsham mum who has suffered with mental health issues since being held at gunpoint during a robbery 20 years ago is now facing a new trauma.

Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 4:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 2:23 pm

Fifty-five-year-old Tracey Grabowski has been well for the past six years after finally recovering from her ordeal - but has found her mental health going downhill again during the current pandemic.

And, despite trying desperately, she has been unable to get any help.

Tracey, who has worked in the care industry for the past 25 years, said: “I have been well for over six years but due to Covid and severe mental exhaustion from work stress, my own mental health has taken a drop.

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“The medication I was on has given me severe involuntary muscular movements on the face and hands affecting my daily life. I called my doctor over six weeks ago and she referred me to the mental health team.

“I received a letter from them on October 2 to have a telephone consultation. I waited all day for the call and it never came.

“Since then I have called numerous times to get an appointment and to date no one has come back to me.

“I have written to the MP in Horsham who gave me a number to call Richmond Fellowship, still no reply from them.

“I even emailed The Samaritans for help and had no response.

“I wrote to the Oxford Development Centre for childhood and adult trauma, and they agreed to help me and put me on their waiting list.”

She said that before the traumatic robbery, she led an active life and took part in marathons but afterwards, she said: “I lost interest in everything including my social life. It took all my self esteem and confidence away.

“I had to fight with myself to get better and stay strong for my husband and children. I got into volunteering to help others. By doing this I began to heal and help myself.”

She found setting up a blog also helped - www.benny2211.co.uk - which is now read by more than 62,000 people.

As well as frustration at her current plight, Tracey is keen to raise awareness of issues to help others facing similar problems.

She wants to raise money for the UK charity The Mental Health Foundation which has prevention at the heart of what it does and aims to address the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive.