April has a long history of tenancy breakdown, hostel exclusions, unmanaged health conditions, poor mental health, drug and alcohol dependency. April was so chaotic and unwell that most services had barred her.
The first priorities were to find a home and support her with her urgent health needs. April told us that she knew our service could work where others had given up was a breakthrough with her Peer Mentor, Ian. Peer Mentors are people in our team with lived experience. April disclosed the abuse she was still experiencing, reasons for self-medicating and for not taking her prescribed medication. This meant Ian and the team could now really understand and support April the way she needed. April is now managing her health well, maintaining her tenancy, enrolled in college, and looking to the future.
‘The day I knew it was working; Ian and I had gone for a coffee, I was having a meltdown, I felt angry, frustrated and was ranting. But I looked at Ian, I could see he genuinely cared. I knew this could work. I’d be dead by now otherwise. They picked me up, scraped me down and believed in me. They helped me believe I could be more. They never judged me. I knew everyone would speak to each other. I want to be a peer mentor now. I believe in me.’