What our support looks like
When we first met Alice, she had severe and enduring mental health difficulties. She was recovering from a suicide attempt, had a dependency on drugs and alcohol, and was in a dangerous relationship.
Alice had been using support services since she was eight years old and had experienced many spells in hospital and prison. She viewed every new situation or challenge as a threat and responded aggressively as a result.
Now in her mid-40s, Alice wanted to live a quieter and less dangerous life.
We worked closely with Alice to help her understand her previous lifestyle choices and addressed some of the issues from her abusive childhood. We also talked about what it means to be a responsible citizen and a good neighbour.
As our relationship with Alice became stronger, she trusted us more and more. We worked with Alice to develop new coping skills giving her the confidence to react positively with others, rather than with aggression.
We also supported sustained contact with Community Mental Health services and engagement with medication.
As a result, Alice is now very involved in her community and our organisation. She attends a community carpentry centre, where she made a table for her home and was given a certificate for this achievement. It was the first time she had been recognised in any way, which gave her great pride.
Whilst Alice will always struggle with her mental health, we have found a way to support her that makes her feel like a valued member of her community. She has her home, her friends, her dog and the respect of those around her.
In the past seven years, Alice has avoided hospital admission and has had no involvement with the police. She is extremely proud of this.