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November 2018

Here's Rob's story:

"When I was 18 I was hearing voices and feeling very anxious and depressed. ‘Cos of this I was not behaving well - I was kicking off all the time. I had support from BIASS (the assessment and intensive support service team) and some really good sessions with a psychologist.

I had to move out from home because my family didn’t love me anymore, even though I loved them and I went to a residential service where I had my own place with 24 hr support.   But, this place shut down, so I had to move again. I was very, very unhappy and depressed.

I went to Shared Lives, it’s sort of like fostering for grownups, but after a while, I started to feel really angry, they wanted me to call them Dad, they weren’t my parents. I was frustrated and unhappy and all this built up in me until I started behaving really bad. I was so bad that the police had to be called, I had caused criminal damage and I got kicked out and sent to a homeless shelter, then I was really frightened.

For about 4 or 5 months I slept on the streets and smoked weed, I felt very scared, cold and depressed. My uncle wanted me to be safe and get help but I couldn’t live with him.   

My social worker got me a place and support workers from a local care agency to help me with my mental health and day to day stuff. I shared with someone else, but he had to move out after they said I burnt his hands. I was arrested for that.

In 2016 - I went out with my uncle one day, I had been smoking weed.  We went walking and a rock gave way under my foot and I fell and broke my leg, I was in hospital for about 6 months. 

When I was ready to be discharged I still wasn’t right mentally so I was put on a Section 2 and sent for assessment at the Horizon Centre, in Wakefield. 

When I was there I was sectioned again on a Section 3 for treatment I was there for 3 months.

I felt depressed, on edge and angry all the time because the psychiatrist didn’t understand me or believe what I was saying. This is when the Intensive Support Team (which was called  BIASS before), or IST for short, got involved again and they really got how I was feeling and helped me a lot to be discharged. 

A treatment plan was put together for me to leave hospital and return to my bungalow – this time with support from a different care provider.  They met me in hospital and got to know me.

When I was discharged they gave me 30 hours a week support. They helped with my household chores, sorting out my money and paying off my debts, took me out on activities and helped me with my mental health.

On top of this, IST was still helping me. The occupational therapist would come and visit and take me out and do things in my home, the community nurse visited me regularly and so did the psychology team. This really helped me with my thoughts and feelings.

My bungalow was doing my head in because the person who lived next door was noisy all day and night and the walls were that thin I could hear everything. I was relieved to be back home but also frustrated because I liked the support I was getting but hated my home.

People around me listened to me and the care provider and my social worker helped me get a new tenancy. Everyone was trying their best to find me someone else to live with, as it can be lonely on your own. Just before I moved I started to meet another man who could share with me, he was ok, and we got on well.

In December 2017, I moved to my new house then a few days later the other man moved in, I met his family, that was really nice.  We had staff all day and they slept in the house at night, this made me feel safe and relaxed. 

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for the other man, so I didn’t get to see him or his family again.  I was angry and unhappy with the situation but I continued to get 24-hour support which helped me get through.

Since moving my life has got better and better. I have support from psychology to help me with relaxation, which really helps and I have learnt how to do this myself, I am not as anxious as I used to be.

I am on the right medication to help me with my thoughts and anxieties and have an appointee to help me manage my money and my debts are being paid so it’s not stressing me out as much.

Over the last year I have felt I am moving forward with my life.   I am drawing and writing again which I haven’t done for a long time and now feel ready to start again.

I have a support team who I know well and really enjoy working with. I have managed to reduce the support I need, this started with the sleep-in being taken out and now I have gradually reduced my hours during the day, this feels ok.

IST don’t have to see me as often either ‘cos I feel I am able to cope better. It hasn’t been without its ups and downs, but people are there to help guide me through my good days and bad days.

Being involved in the writing of my story has triggered past memories which, to be honest, has made me anxious, but I have been able to talk things through and understand my past better which now makes me feel great.

I am very grateful to everyone that has helped me, especially the staff at my care provider (Gwenne, Gareth and Steven), and although I am tired, I feel very well and very happy which I haven’t felt for a long while."