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Case Study: Simon’s Journey

Simon’s* history

Simon is a young man with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia and a history of difficulties with substance misuse. He spent several years of his life homeless after multiple housing schemes evicted him, and his family could no longer cope having him in the family home. He was taking multiple illicit drugs and was alcohol dependant, his addictions led him to criminal involvement and Simon sought advice from his local substance misuse service.

When Simon came to us

When Simon was admitted to Cygnet Lodge Brighouse, he was responding to a lot of unseen stimuli, had risks around self-harm and was still struggling with his addiction to alcohol and drugs. Due to these risks and his impulsivity, he was unable to access leave in the community unescorted. His motivation to engage with any kind of support from staff was extremely low and he refused to engage with the substance misuse programme. He felt that most of the drugs he was taking were ‘not harming him’ and felt that he could ‘do everything better on drugs’.

Simon’s care

The team initially reviewed Simon’s medication in order to ease some of the symptoms that were making it difficult for him to engage. There was a thorough handover from Simon’s previous placement who shared some helpful coping mechanisms that had worked for him, this helped to ease the transition and keep some consistency for him.

Simon was assessed by the in-house psychology and occupational therapy (OT) teams in order to support and work with him to engage in a style of therapy that suited him. They used motivational interviewing (MI) in order to build rapport and trust. They also identified that more informal contact was beginning to increase his drive to engage, and started to take Simon out for a coffee or shopping.

With a trusting relationship built with the staff, Simon began to first engage with the harm reductions and relapse prevention sessions. The team worked with Simon to understand the negative impact that drugs were having on his life. He began to see the positive benefits that abstinence could have on his life, which motivated him to return to his former lifestyle.

Simon was soon taking advantage of a wide variety of the activities on offer at Cygnet Lodge Brighouse, he was attending the weekly self-management and recovery training (SMART) group, had stopped smoking and attended the problem solving and managing change psychology groups. He was also supported by the OT team to become more involved in the community and was able to begin to access the community unescorted. He attended various college courses and used these skills to gain a volunteer position at the local café.

With Simon’s recovery progressing positively, the team agreed he was ready to step down to Rastrick View, the on-site three-bedroom apartment.

This allowed Simon to have more responsibility and allowed positive risk taking with the support of the team if he needed it. The move was a very positive one and highlighted the areas of learning that Simon would need
some extra support with before moving on, such as remembering to do his cleaning.

Simon worked with the psychology team to complete a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) which would be shared with any future support services to make them aware of the signs of becoming unwell and his wishes when this happens.

Simon today

Simon moved on from Cygnet Lodge Brighouse to an open rehabilitation service where he has his own apartment and enjoys cooking for himself and accessing the onsite gym. He has remained abstinent from drugs and alcohol and is enjoying the freedom and improved quality of life this has allowed him. The future is looking bright for Simon and he is hoping to become a fitness instructor sometime soon.

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