Long term mental illness and recovery
Topics covered in this article: Care & treatment, Services and support
Penumbra Queens Drive Supported Accommodation
The Pentagon Centre
Washington Street, Glasgow G3 8AZ
0141 229 2580
Penumbra is a leading Scottish voluntary organisation working in the field of mental health. Since its establishment in 1985 Penumbra has developed a range of person centred supported accommodation services throughout Scotland. We also provide respite care, supported living services and services for young people.
Our project consists of a supported accommodation service in Falkirk (Queens Drive), comprising of a 4 bedroom family home in a quiet area of Falkirk. We provide a flexible, recovery focussed model of support to 4 adults.
Staff are available from 9am to 10 pm 7 days per week, with an on-call pager service available for out of hours 365 days a year. Each service user has their own bedroom with a lockable door. They also have their own front door key.
We support each service user to identify their own choice of keyworker. We have our own outcome based tool HOPE (Home/Opportunity/People and Empowerment) through the completion of this document this enables the service users to identify their goals, participate in their local community, encourages social interaction, promotes their independence and most importantly, complete involvement in the delivery of their support.
The keyworker and other staff work closely with each individual service user, the management team visit Queens Drive on a daily basis, this enables the service users to interact freely with the managers and to have the ability to freely share any concerns that they may have.
The Assistant manager of the project has attended training on Service User Participation, this led to implementation of additional methods of service user involvement e.g. informal communication, house meetings chaired by the service users, service user led newsletters, a peer support / focus group and increased involvement in support planning.
We have a "Talking Wall" this is used to encourage people to write down their thoughts on the service and ideas for improvements and activities. As part of our commitment to quality improvement we have condensed the policies and procedures into a more user friendly format
The project has run a pilot whereby the service users have been involved in the staff appraisal process. This has proven to be invaluable with great insight being provided, the staff have enjoyed having their feedback.
Christine was referred to our service with multiple support needs, including Mental Health issues, a Learning Disability and Alcohol and Drug issues.
Christine's initial needs assessment from the service that referred her was the usual previous traditional attendance of day groups and were reluctant to support a move to a more personalised approach. Their opinion was that Christine responded best to a structured programme. Christine initially attended day groups to keep her busy, she did not have any power or choice over her finances and appeared to have very limited independence.
During the course of Christine's initial settling in period of 6 weeks, we assessed Christine as being very reliant on staff for most areas in her life.
Christine found it difficult to determine her own opinions and choices as she was used to staff from the other service making decisions on her behalf.
Over the past 2 years Penumbra has worked very hard supporting Christine with working towards her recovery and she has achieved many of her goals. This has been very productive for Christine.
Some of Christine's major goals that she has achieved over the last two years are as follows:
- Christine now shops for her weekly messages independently
- She organises and attends her own GP appointments
- Christine has built up a social network of positive friendships and is now less
- reliant on staff.
- Christine now cooks her own healthy meals and has taken an interest in home baking.
- Christine decided that she was ready to have some responsibility therefore she bought herself a pet budgie which she lovingly cares for (Max II) .
- Chose her holiday destination and which staff member she would like to support her whilst she was on holiday.
- Manages own household tasks and now attends to her personal hygiene with minimal support. Christine now sources her own groups and arranges her daily diary to accommodate time and days of the groups that she wants to attend.
- Chairs house meetings
Working in partnership with Christine encouraged her to complete a PATH (PCP tool), Christine was able to dream of the life she would like, she then identified what was possible to achieve. Christine works closely with her Keyworker supporting her to achieve these. We are supporting Christine to save for her own tenancy, Christine's CPN and Consultant are so impressed with Christine's progress stating "we have not managed to achieve anything this positive despite working with Christine for over 5 years," Christine's CPN has now discharged her from their service.
We support Christine to be involved in the following ways:
- As a volunteer with the "Helix Project" The Helix project will transform under-used land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving urban green space covering some 300 hectares. Volunteering opportunities include wildlife surveys, planting schemes, litter picks, heritage walks and guided tours.
- The recruitment and selection of staffing for her Penumbra service
- Input with our staff performance and development reviews
- "See Me" campaign locally (strategic level for planning of next 3 years activities)
- Local Falkirk Activities for Mental Health Awareness Week (annually)
- Falkirk CHP (PPF Forum - "Your Health, Your community, Your say)
- At a strategic level for the changes to Self Directed Support
- We have a Penumbra Falkirk "Peer Support/ Focus Group" Christine has been involved with the development and planning of this group
We are supporting Christine to write her own life recovery story. She has her own PC and has attended computer classes, she went to her very first concert "Pink" and is saving for a supported holiday to Spain. Christine, now controls what activities and services she wants involvement with.
- A number of different support methods have included:
- altering her plans to include information pictorially
- simplified documentation e.g. Tenancy Agreement, WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)
- Presentation of certificates of achievement (she proudly displays these in her bedroom, this gives her a sense of achievement)
We nominated Christine for the Falkirk Volunteer Awards (Annual Event), she attended the ceremony along with her keyworker and the manager. Christine was ever so proud to be called onto the stage to be awarded her certificate by the Provost she was formally recognised for her voluntary work with "The Helix Project".
Christine has been drug free and sober for over 2 years now, she sees this as a remarkable achievement.