Mark now talks about his hopes for the future...something that would have been impossible for him to do at the beginning of our support.
Mark found himself living in a chaotic, shared house upon leaving the approved premises he had been staying in since his release from prison. He suffers from PTSD, depression, anxiety and has a personality disorder; as well as having diabetes, tinnitus, and nerve damage due to a head injury he sustained in prison. The environment in the temporary shared house had a detrimental effect on his mental health and he turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. He was also self-harming and experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Whilst in this accommodation he was referred to Justlife. Mark met with one of our Specialist Support Workers at the Justlife Centre and spoke about the difficulties he was facing due to his mental and physical health needs, as well as his housing issues which left him feeling isolated and hopeless. The Specialist Support Worker provided one-to-one support, working collaboratively with Mark to develop a support plan focusing on key areas that he wanted to address.
Following this, referrals were sent to the Mental Health Team and Self-Help services to try and get access to psychological support for Mark. We also supported Mark to register with a GP and ensured he was able to collect his medication from the pharmacy; something he had been neglecting, by providing transport and reminders.
Finally, we also referred to him Change, Grow, Live to access specialist drugs and alcohol support. However, the referrals to mental health services were unsuccessful: Mark was informed that his needs were too high to receive support from psychological wellbeing services in the community, but they also deemed his needs were not high enough to be accessing specialist psychiatric support.
We had to advocate strongly on Mark’s behalf for him to access mental health services. Eventually, Mark was offered a further assessment with the mental health team which led to a referral to a psychiatrist, and access to more support. We also referred Mark to a local Crisis Café service which functioned throughout the evenings and nights, to ensure he had a safe place to access in times of need out-of-hours too.
Alongside this health-focused work, working alongside other partners led to Mark being placed in a rented flat where he had his own private space. During this time, we connected Mark with services to access furniture, energy advice, and benefits support, all to help the transition from living in the shared house to independent living.
Mark is now in a much better mental space, allowing him the opportunity to consider other areas of his life he wanted to develop. He has signed up to English classes, cooking courses at Back on Track, and has recently joined the gym to improve his fitness and general wellbeing.
Mark now talks about his hopes for the future, which include going on holiday and losing weight, something that would have been impossible for him to do at the beginning of our support. We are now reducing our support for Mark, who continues to sustain his tenancy and access support services.
*The person in this image is not Mark. Image sourced from Unsplash.