Latest Your stories Coping with a complex diagnosis Mandy* was referred to us via her CPN, to see if we could provide her with supported housing. Mandy is 49 and has a diagnosis of schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, paranoia and depression, requiring careful management and daily medication. She has been involved with inpatient and community mental health services for much of her life, struggles to live independently, and has had periods of feeling suicidal. She has a strong family network who do support her, but she feels that they often don’t fully understand her mental health conditions and treat her like a child. Mandy struggles to maintain her concentration and find motivation, which can result in her spending long periods of time in bed without doing any purposeful activity. She is quite a vulnerable adult, and when we met Mandy she was struggling to manage and understand her own finances and bills. She didn’t have her own bank account which meant that some of her bills were not paid on time, and had been taken advantage of by cold-callers talking her into taking out various expensive contracts for internet and phone services. One of the first things we did to support Mandy was help her through opening her own bank account, setting up standing orders for her bills and payment plans to make sure she could keep on top of these. We also supported her to seek advice from Citizens Advice to help her close down the contracts she was talked into when she was at her most vulnerable. The feeling of getting her finances back in control has had a huge positive impact on Mandy’s mental health and reduced her anxiety. She now has a better understanding of her own finances, setting her in good stead for the future. "Getting her finances back in control has had a huge positive impact on Mandy’s mental health." In the past Mandy had really struggled to use public transport due to her anxiety and paranoia. This meant that an expensive taxi was the only way she could travel, meaning she did not visit family as often as she wanted to, and couldn’t go shopping or visit the local town. When we began working with Mandy we visited her home to provide support, and we started to accompany her on short journeys using public transport to build her confidence. Over time this has really helped Mandy to get used to travelling, and she can now get around the local area on her own. Although we are still working to enable her to travel further afield, she has made brilliant progress. She can visit her family whenever she wants, enjoys a wander round the shops, and told us she feels much less isolated. Although Mandy is close to her family, she would often get frustrated by their understanding of her mental health; whenever she reached out for a chat, they would assume she was getting unwell and not react in the way Mandy needed them to. Mandy told us she often just needed someone to talk to about how she was feeling and that this helps her to stay well; we were able to offer this time and non-judgemental space for her to explore her feelings. Over time we have built up a great working relationship and Mandy always enjoys meeting her Recovery Worker in the community for a coffee and a chat. "Mandy told us she often just needed someone to talk to about how she was feeling." Mandy started to get interested in keeping fit, and rather than attending a gym we have started encouraging her to go on long walks. Mandy says she is felling much fitter and more motivated as a result; she has even brought a pedal bike to increase the amount of activity she does. This is a huge improvement from how Mandy used spend her days, and she puts this down to the support from our team. She still has days when her motivation are mood are low, but now she feels much more able to cope on these days and take responsibility for her wellbeing by making appointments to visit her GP or CPN during these times. During the highs and the lows Mandy always feels able to talk openly to us about how she is feeling, and tells us that she finds our support absolutely invaluable to her wellbeing. Mandy said, “MHM have helped me when I find it hard to manage; they have given me someone to talk to other than family. I receive a lot of encouragement from them to be more independent in sorting out money and the day-to-day stuff - I truly believe MHM keep me well." Find out more about our services * This case study is from a real client of MHM, but the names have been changed and the photo has been staged by an actor to protect their privacy.