An Example of What is Possible When You Get Support Right

Dave’s involvement with mental health support began around 16 years ago.  At that time he was spending considerable extended periods being treated in the local mental health unit.  His difficulties included not only a diagnosis of schizophrenia, but also issues related to drug and alcohol use.

When not being treated in hospital Dave trialled various forms of supported accommodation without success.  While subsequently needing to live with his parents for a period of time, he was receiving one hour of support a week.  It was obvious this was totally insufficient for his needs and over time support was gradually increased to seven hours a week.

When Dave eventually settled into independent accommodation, his periods in the mental health ward decreased in line with the gradual increase in his support hours.  This support included tuition on shopping, transport, housework and, most importantly, assistance with his ability to identify the onset of psychotic episodes and how best to deal with them.

A couple of years after the commencement of his support the first signs of improvement in Dave’s health were noticed.  He was happy with his accommodation, he was receiving effective mental health support from two experienced workers, and he was starting to show signs of becoming interested in voluntary work.  

Over the next few years, while Dave still had his health challenges, he became firmly entrenched in voluntary work for short periods with several community organisations.  Dave has now been enthusiastically involved with one particular organisation as a member/volunteer for approximately 10 years.

While Dave has had quite a journey over the last 16 years, he now articulates that he is comfortable in accepting his diagnosis.  He says he is thankful that he has a level of management over it and often notes that ‘there are many worse off than I am’.

He has really blossomed.

Name changed to protect privacy.

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