City Bridge Fund - Hope For Tomorrow.
We received funding from the City of London Corporation’s Charity, City Bridge Trust and we are coming to the end of our first year. It has been a positive and beneficial year in which we have been able to directly support 153 clients! The purpose of the funding is to improve access to services for those experiencing mental health illness, anxiety or depression. The work is led through our Nurse led clinic and runs alongside a range of activities such as; formal and informal counselling, massage therapy and health assessments.
The work also focuses fun events that focus on improving health and raising awareness around issues that can affect general well-being. Below is the story of Tim who we have been able to help and support through an emotional and painful time. Through the work of the funding Tim now has a much brighter outlook and hope for the future.
Tim has a history of substance misuse including crack cocaine, alcohol and marijuana. Following a the breakdown of his marriage he became mentally disorientated when he could no longer see his children. He became severely depressed to the extent that he could not reasonably perform his job and was suspended for a period of time then asked to leave.
When Tim started coming to the Welcome Centre he presented as very angry and severely depressed, he was street homeless, unwashed and unkempt which he found difficult to deal with especially as he always took such pride in his appearance. Tim had approached the Housing advice Centre for help with his accommodation and he received support from the Welcome Project’s nurse and support worker in terms of advocacy and assistance to gather evidence to satisfy his application. On the strength of his deteriorating Mental Health (MH) he was placed in temporary accommodation on the proviso that he attend a MH assessment.
The nurse supported the whole process of his mental health assessments by speaking to his GP, the Immediate Access to Psychological Therapies Team (IAPT) and regularly meeting with him to provide ongoing support during the process of him receiving an appointment. An assessment of his needs were taken by the IAPT team including his circumstances, his life story and the detail of his mental health condition which at this time included hearing voices and paranoia. The practitioner did not think that Tim was schizophrenic rather that his symptoms were as a result of the extreme levels of stress, anxiety, chaos and multiple traumas. Tim he has been offered Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions.
Initially it was anticipated that Tim’s depression stemmed from his substance misuse and the chaos and distressing issues concerning his family. It transpired from his IAPT assessment that while his current problems are a significant contributory factor, his very emotional story revealed that he had suffered mental, physical and emotional abuse since childhood.
Tim wept as he told his story as he had never opened up before in his entire life or divulged his fears, anxiety and pain. For the first time he could hear himself speaking about the things he always felt he had to carry and could never share.
Tim explained he has been unable to hold back his tears but admitted that he felt a sense of peace. Tim has completely given up alcohol and drugs and has maintained his sobriety. Walking around in dirty clothes every day which made him feel helpless, depressed, and ashamed and out of control, not being able to satisfy his most basic human needs. Being able to have regular showers and take care of himself with the help of R3, one to one sessions, the encouragement of the Welcome Project’s nurse, staff and volunteers, has really raised his self-esteem.
Tim is on a positive journey and says he now has ‘renewed hope’.
These photos are not of Tim but of the services he used at HLP.