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My Journey – Liz shares her experience of mental health services

Skye

In our latest blog Liz, a resident currently at one of our Staffordshire Supported Living placements, shares her story of recovery including how Cygnet have helped her to make plans for the future.

Liz’s Story

I have been in mental health services for most of my life from a young age after being diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I transitioned from CAMHS to adult services and experienced challenges and setbacks along the way.

After pushing forward with my recovery and accessing the right support, I felt more stable. As a young adult thinking about my future, I began to research supported living placements. I went online and found Cygnet’s Ashbrook supported living placement in Staffordshire. I really liked the look of it so I spoke with my social worker to make a referral.

Stepping down to supported living was a huge accomplishment for me. It was the perfect stepping stone from residential to more independent living. Because of my PTSD I still experience flashbacks, which can trigger self-harm. I wanted to be able to better manage these moments and, after being in care environments since a young age, wanted help to learn to live independently.

The staff helped me to write my care plan and positive behaviour support plan to make sure I had ownership of my care and future.

At the start, the staff also helped me with cooking, cleaning, and finding my way around the local area. Staff also helped with my medication management.

I was put in touch with the community mental health team to access support if I needed it. When things got difficult, myself and the staff would debrief together and my support plans were changed with lessons learned and coping mechanisms for the future. Through this I was able to achieve long periods of feeling settled and coping well.

With the support of the staff at Ashbrook, I am now just completing my second year of a psychology degree. I also volunteer regularly giving telephone peer support to others in crisis. I recently went on a holiday abroad and loved it so much I have already booked a second… and third!

Leanne and Shukri are the best Managers I have ever had. I have been in 60+ placements since being in care from the age of 12. If I ask them to do something they sort it out, they don’t mess around and you can tell they actually care about me.

My next goal is to pass my driving test before ultimately moving on to live independently.

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