“There is a life out there”.
SB has Dystonia, a neurological condition which means she does not always have control of her muscle movements. She is in constant pain, feels conscious of her disability and has mental health problems due to the disability and a fraught family life. She contacted Equality Together’s Information Team as she needed help with financing new carpets in her flat. After many long conversations with the information officer, it was clear there were more issues clouding her life than just the carpets, and the information team worked to support her in getting insulation in the house and the boiler repaired, as well as emotionally supporting the client. After some weeks, it became clear that the client was increasing emotionally distressed and there were periods where she would only cry or was unable to be contacted. The information team was worried and spoke first to Bradford Adult Services and later to First Contact, mental health team. It was clear that the information team were not best placed to support he emotional need of the client, and so they referred her on to the Peer Support service.
She began to work with one of our Peer support Workers, volunteers who are disabled themselves, there to support clients through difficult patches and getting back control of their lives. At first she was very emotional, and had a wide range of issues that she really needed to talk about.
She had had an accident at work, and became isolated when her work was terminated after a period of ill health.
The Support Worker found her some information on her health condition, which made her realise it wasn’t just her, and come to terms with it a little. She contacted the Dystonia Society, who got back in touch with her, and have asked her to do some voluntary work going into hospitals and talking about her condition. This has given her a great deal of self – confidence and enthusiasm.
She has become more positive and said “There is a life out there”. “No crying – it’s all big smiles!!”