It’s Good to Talk for a Brighter Future

Some of our service users have complex needs and, as such, need support from us and colleague agencies in order to move forward. We’re posting this example on #TimeToTalk day, during #ItsNotOk week and as a #ThursdayThought because it highlights one person’s struggle against many issues.

During December 2016, ACT became aware of X as she was temporarily staying in the Ipswich winter night shelter. X lived a very chaotic life and was entrenched in her drug and alcohol misuse.

X had two children that she had no contact with; she had recently had an operation on her back and was struggling with the pain – exacerbated by living on the street. All of these factors were having a huge impact on X’s mental health and, additionally, X was also the victim of domestic violence – she was in a very vulnerable place in her life.

ACT provided temporary supported accommodation and, after a difficult start to her tenancy, we assisted X to access our money advice service. With the additional help of our housing support offers, she began to get on top of her finances. X was also getting support from other agencies to address her drug and alcohol misuse. With ACT providing evidence to social services that X had become drug-free for 12 months, gradual access to her children was allowed; first as letterbox access and then telephone access.

ACT’s Domestic Abuse Outreach team have also supported X and, in March 2018 she moved into a flat with her own tenancy. Although there have been a couple of relapses along the way, X has maintained her tenancy, is drug free and also enjoys visits from her eldest child who has started college.

X has now got a passport and is planning her first ever holiday abroad; she is now also able to apply for council housing. As a result of engaging, talking and accepting help and support, X is dealing with her back pain with regular doctor/hospital visits and her mental health has improved significantly. She still engages with other support services and gradually she is moving forward and looking to the future.

A success story but one that could have been very difficult if X had decided not to engage. #TimeToTalk day reminds us that talking is the first step to a positive future.