Andrew lived with his Mum but due to ongoing conflict he ended up living at the elsewhere. After a period, he returned to live with his Mum, but unfortunately this broke down again and he returned to other supported housing. Andrew found this environment incredibly difficult to manage and this had a detrimental impact on his existing mental health issues. Eventually, Andrew was evicted. This left Andrew in a difficult position as he needed accommodation with support but was fearful of the impact the hostel environment would have on his wellbeing, so did not want to live at St George’s House. Due to his complex needs he did not have a lot of housing options at the time. He was able to return to his Mum’s for a short space of time, but this was not a long-term option. Andrew and his Mum have a history of serious arguments and there have been incidents of violence from Andrew to his Mum, resulting in a conviction.
Through this time, Andrew had managed to complete a Level 2 Music qualification but had felt unable to progress further due to his unstable housing situation and mental health at the time. Andrew had made a serious suicide attempt at the end of 2019 and had a history of suicidal thoughts and actions, having a serious impact on his day to day life. Andrew also struggled with his high cannabis usage and impulsive nature.
What did we do?
Andrew was accommodated in one of the Intensive Support flats linked to SGH. This meant that he was able to benefit from up to 10 hours support per week, without being in the hostel environment. Andrew’s worker was able to negotiate with our Housing Team and an agreement was made for Andrew to keep a pet cat as a therapy animal.
Andrew was also supported to engage with the Reboot Team to explore his ongoing educational options and support him to secure a college place for this year.
Andrew meets with his support worker regularly and has used this support mainly to talk through the difficulties he is experiencing. His worker visits regularly and they often go for a walk to get out of the house, something he struggles with when he is experiencing low mood. Andrew’s worker supports him in talking through the difficulties in his relationships with family, accessing mental health support and encouraging him to keep on top of his appointments.
What strengths did Andrew demonstrate?
Andrew is an intelligent and articulate young man. He is incredibly reflective and insightful, particularly in relation to the mental health conditions that he experiences. He has found it difficult waiting for formal mental health interventions to start but has been persistent and proactive in trying to seek support.
Andrew is very creative and talented, mainly in relation to music and design – he has used these as coping strategies throughout difficult times.
What difference did our intervention make?
We have provided Andrew a safe space to live independently. He has managed his accommodation well and finds it very beneficial to have his own space, away from other young people. In the past, he found he got caught up with his peers and this did lead to some offending and risky behaviours. Allowing Andrew to keep a cat in his flat has had the biggest positive impact on his mental wellbeing. Andrew states that this has given him responsibility and having something depending on him has been a protective factor for him.
It has also allowed Andrew to maintain a relationship with his Mum but to have more control over this. He visits her regularly but can return to his own space when things get too much. Although there is still a risk of conflict and violence, this is reduced by Andrew having an appropriate living space of his own.
Andrew has built a positive relationship with his support worker and this has allowed him a safe, trusted person to talk through his difficulties with. Although he has a lot of support from his family, they do also experience a lot of conflict and it benefits Andrew to have a neutral party to talk these issues through with.
Although Andrew continues to experience ongoing challenges with his mental health, he is now at a point where he is hoping to return to college and looking at moving on to more independent accommodation.