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Case Study: Poppy’s Journey

Poppy’s* history

Poppy is a young woman in her mid-30s. She has a dual diagnosis, in addition to her mental ill-health, she also has trauma and historical drug and alcohol misuse, as well as some physical health problems.

She had a difficult time over the past few years, she had been in and out of different hospitals and had suffered numerous placement breakdowns due to the deterioration in her mental health, her self-harm, suicide attempts and her ongoing issues with drugs and alcohol.

When Poppy came to us

When Poppy came to Cygnet Lodge Kewstoke from an acute service. She had ongoing physical health problems and poor mobility issues which meant she needed a service that was tailored to meet the needs of women with physical disabilities. Poppy was given a lovely ground floor room with en-suite facilities to meet her needs. When she arrived, she was very withdrawn. She refused to engage in any activities and would choose to stay in her room and not communicate with anyone.

Poppy’s care

One of the first changes that we made in Poppy’s treatment regime was to review her medication. We worked with Poppy to develop a stable pathway of medication which she worked towards stage 3, which is having responsibility for her medication.

Initially Poppy refused to engage with individual or group therapy sessions that were offered. When the team discovered that she had a love for dogs, they immediately started her with weekly pet therapy. This worked really well as she started to engage with the animals and then slowly started to engage with other psychology and occupational therapy (OT) sessions that were provided in-house.

Initially, the OT sessions included cooking skills and budgeting. Poppy wasn’t comfortable accessing the community due to previous trauma and her desire for drugs and alcohol. So the team worked slowly with her to re-introduce these things, like bus practice which led to Poppy enrolling on college courses.

The psychology team used cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and also dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) to challenge her negative thoughts and feelings and to teach her the skills she needed to help manage those challenges on her own. After the review of her medication and her engagement in the numerous therapies, her thoughts of self-harming were minimised and eventually stopped completely.

Poppy was enrolled into drug and alcohol sessions that were linked to the community, which meant that she could continue with them once she was discharged from the hospital into a place of her own.

Poppy today

Towards the end of Poppy’s time at Cygnet Lodge Kewstoke, she was un-recognisable from the woman who had been admitted. She was outgoing, she helped other women to create menus, led on food preparation and helped the chef to develop a new file of vegetarian recipes. She became involved in the People’s Council and gave feedback on her views and her peers’ views during the meetings.

Poppy now lives in supported living accommodation and is progressing well in her own flat with some staff support.

Before she left Cygnet Lodge Kewstoke she told the staff that her dream was to get an NVQ qualification to become a support worker which would enable her to give back and make a difference in other individual’s lives.

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*Name has been changed to protect her identity

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