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Case Study: Getting to the root of complex and long-term issues

A British-Indian male, aged 45 was supported by us after a complex 15-year history of undiagnosed mental health issues and alcohol misuse.

They were referred to us by:

Frequent Attenders (Accident & Emergency)

The issues they were facing:
  • Despite being triaged several times over 15 years, our client had undiagnosed mental health issues.
  • However, the drugs and alcohol service wanted him to address his mental health needs first.
  • His issues were compounded by the loss of his mother. Subsequent relationship breakdowns led to the client being made homeless.
  • Our client had been street homeless for 5 years, with no source of income, however, due to the perceived cultural stigma around homelessness and alcohol addiction, he had not engaged with any support services.
  • Our client would also refer to himself with the street name he had acquired and would often become agitated if called by his given name.
The support we provided, included:
  • We supported our client to make a homeless application, open a bank account and apply for Universal Credit.
  • We helped prevent future housing issues from occurring
    • Our client was placed in temporary accommodation 5 times; each time he was moved on as the landlords could not deal with his support needs; he was neglectful of himself, the accommodation and often had episodes where he shouted at unseen things and self-harmed. It was realised he could not independently sustain a tenancy.
    • When he was offered a council house, we advocated for this to not occur as he would inevitably lose the tenancy and potentially be deemed intentionally homeless.
  • We also arranged and attended GP appointments and supported the client to collect his medication monthly.
  • A member of our team also referred him to the drugs and alcohol service and the mental health services.
    • After 4 attempts we were finally able to arrange a consultation with both a mental health practitioner and a dual diagnosis worker.
    • It was agreed our client would be managed in the community with the potential of inpatient detox to address his underlying mental health needs, with his housing needs being assessed accordingly.
  • Unfortunately, our client was the victim of an assault and this saw him having to spend several weeks in hospital.
    • His Browns Community Services support worker visited him twice a week and sat in on neuro assessments and liaised with adult social care.
    • Now that he has detoxed, it became apparent that alcohol misuse was simply a symptom of underlying mental health issues that had always been present.
    • Thankfully the assault did not leave any lasting damage.
The outcome was:
  • Upon discharge from the hospital, the client was able to move into shared accommodation with a support package put in place by us.
  • After a while, it became apparent thanks to the monitoring of our team that our client needed more support. By liaising with his social worker, we were able to support the client to be moved to a care home in order to fully recover from their assault.
  • We remained involved and advocated for the client to be placed in appropriate specialist supported living accommodation, where the client has been since late 2020.
What our client had to say:

Our client contacted our team in January 2021 and noticeably introduced himself using his given name.

“I am good, I just wanted to call and say thank you – I know I was difficult but thank you for not stopping. It’s nice to know you are still around.”

homeless-male

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