Vanessa*, who was referred to us by a Social Prescriber during lockdown, has been a very complex case, with lots of issues and complex needs, including health and emotional issues, She has anxiety as part of her condition, and so was very scared of catching Coronavirus. She had lots of paperwork and other things to sort out in her flat but was finding it very hard to do anything due to her anxiety. As well as the challenges from her health conditions, she had only just moved in to the area from somewhere else in the country and didn’t know anyone.
Since she was put in touch with us at the beginning of April, we have been in touch in many ways – firstly through 1-2-1 phone calls.
Vanessa spoke to us about feeling worthless and not having achieved anything in her life. We spent a lot of time comforting her and listening to her emotional stresses, supporting her through her panic attacks. We helped her arrange a regular food delivery and to organise her house – all over the phone – and helped to find volunteers who could collect her medication. We signposted her to local mental health support service and were regularly in touch with the Social Prescriber to ensure we worked together to help meet her needs in the most suitable ways.
After some time, Vanessa felt willing to try joining the weekly Zoom calls. With our support via a tutorial over the phone, she set up Zoom on her tablet. She has since joined the Zoom calls and is a very active and vocal on them.
Vanessa has regularly said that she would have been much, much worse without our support. She says the sessions give her purpose for her week; she looks forward to them as it helps her to have something to prepare for. They make her feel much happier, and she says that she doesn’t know what her life would be like without our groups. We have been doing a ‘jar of hope’ activity, where Vanessa puts something positive she has done or seen that day into a jar, and look back at it at the end of the week. This exercise reminds her that she has been doing something and helps to change her thoughts about herself. It helps her believe in herself and recognise she is achieving things – it gives her purpose and meaning, and helps to combat her self-confessed feelings of worthlessness.
Vanessa has also now started volunteering at a local park activity, which is a massive step for her because she was previously very anxious. Now she is more active and open, and feels she is starting to get to know people in the area.