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Selina: getting to mental health services

celebrating success
celebrating success

One25 posted this on the28/05/2019

Mental health caseworker Rujina explains how women can face barriers to mainstream services… and how Selina won’t give up!

When women are in mental health crisis, services might turn them away because they’re also using drugs. But heavy drug use is often the way women cope with mental illness and the traumas that can cause it. Then women who aren’t using heavily will probably be in a better place mentally and won’t qualify for support…

Selina was bravely sticking to her recovery, living in a dry-house. But her mental health was bad and she was feeling so low there and felt like she’d be happier being homeless again. This would make it so hard to stay away from drink and drugs and the areas she associates with them. She was bored, frustrated and becoming exhausted. I knew she needed more help than she was getting.

I pushed really hard for Selina to be given a mental health assessment. From this point, she was able to get some specialist counselling and some more specific mental health support. Together we worked out what we else we could find. As well as giving Peony a try, she’s now doing regular exercise, learning a set of professional skills and giving her time and energy to a volunteer project!

Selina is fit and healthy, she’s clever, she’s funny and she puts a lot of effort in to work with the support around her. She’s lost an awful lot in her life but she’s determined to carry on the path she’s started. Even now she’s considering her next steps.

On the phone the other day she told me how they’d been short staffed where she now volunteers and she’d worked extra hard to support her team… I reckon Selina could run the place and I could hear in her voice she was joyful.

More stories from the casework team

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