Regaining my independence
After experiencing grief, suicide attempts and multiple hospital admissions, Lisa accessed two supported accommodation services with Rethink Mental Illness. She is now planning on living in a flat independently and is finally looking forward to what the future holds.
In July 2017, my mum unfortunately passed away. I was her carer for over 10 years and after she was gone, I lost all sense of purpose.

My first hospital admission was in September 2017, where I got my diagnosis of a major depressive episode. Following this diagnosis, I was having thoughts around suicide and made some attempts to take my own life. I was at the lowest point I have ever been in.

After multiple readmissions into hospital, I was finally diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and dependent personality disorder (DPD). I was still struggling with being in hospital, so, in November 2018, I was moved to Lindsay House, a Rethink Mental Illness supported living service.

When I moved to Lindsay House, I was very anxious and didn’t know what to expect as I’d never lived in that sort of setting before. I was very quiet and didn’t really speak to anyone for a while.

Staff asked what I enjoyed doing and began planning 1-to-1 activities with me, such as going to the cinema and going shopping. This helped me to open up to staff and feel more at home at the service.
Staff supported me to develop my independence further by encouraging me to bake
With some staff encouragement, and through pushing myself, I began joining in with the service’s activities and made friends with some of the other residents.

I developed a very strong friendship with one of the residents, who helped me to develop my independence. We’d go out into the local community, like shopping in town and going for coffee.

Staff supported me to develop my independence further by encouraging me to bake desserts for our Sunday dinners, as well as baking my famous Christmas cake!

When the idea of moving into less supported accommodation was mentioned to me, I surprised myself in that I was willing to have a look at the service they were suggesting. I always thought I’d be against moving on from Lindsay House, but I was shown around Rethink Mental Illness’s Selsey House and I liked it.

I made the decision I wanted to go ahead with the move but then COVID-19 struck, and I was stuck at Lindsay House for an additional 4 months. In this period, staff at Lindsay House helped to keep my spirits up, even though my move-in date was unknown for a long while.

Then, moving day came! I was very excited, but also extremely nervous. It didn’t take me long to settle in. Staff were really supportive; helping me unpack, sort out my bedroom, introducing me to other residents at the service.

Over time, I began to feel more settled and it began to feel like home again. I joined in with activities organised by the staff, such as a weekend trip to Blackpool and communal meals with other residents.
I gained more of an understanding of how to deal with my emotions daily
I began Structured Clinical Management (SCM) for my borderline personality disorder which was ran by the Corby Mental Health Team. This helped me better deal with my emotions, interpersonal relationships and problem solving.

Staff supported me to complete the set coursework on weekends, and they told me that they felt like they were learning new knowledge as well! This helped to build my confidence and skills, as I gained more of an understanding of how to deal with my emotions daily.

I completed SCM in February 2023 and was finally discharged from the Mental Health Team. I also received lovely feedback from my SCM Practitioner which boosted my confidence.

After this course, I finally felt ready to look at moving on to less supported accommodation. I discussed this with the staff who were very supportive of the idea. We looked at ways I could improve my independence further, so it wouldn’t be as much of a big change.

I began managing my own medication, with support to fill my dosette boxes on a Sunday. I began going into town on my own more to the local coffee shop. I also stopped smoking, to focus on my physical health.

I was offered a place back in Northampton, which I was familiar with from my time living with my mum as well as at Lindsay House. I was very keen on the idea of living more independently and could see potential for the flat I was offered. I accepted it and am looking forward to moving soon.

I am grateful for all the support that Rethink Mental Illness has provided me during the past 5 years. I don’t think I would have come this far without that support.

I am also extremely proud of myself for how far I have come in my journey, and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for me.
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