Freya* was referred to Alana House in September 2021 by Brighter Futures for Children in Reading. She needed support because she was struggling with mental health issues, as well as managing a difficult family situation at home.
Freya was assaulted by a customer at her place of work and sustained several injuries, leading to surgery and ongoing nerve damage. Her employer accepted liability but Freya is waiting to hear if she will be dismissed from her job due to incapacity to carry out her role. At home, Freya is dealing with challenging behaviours from her daughter and the ill health of several of her family members including her mother, her father and her partner who has terminal cancer.
Freya was finding it difficult to cope and was suffering from mental health issues including depression and anxiety. She had low self-esteem and felt worthless and suicidal, with little sense of enjoyment in life. She said: “I felt emotionally distressed – uncontrollable crying and worrying. I just didn’t know where to turn to. I was giving up and didn’t have anywhere to run to.”
The Alana House support worker assessed Freya’s needs and set out several key objectives.
- Freya to experience improved mental health
- Ensure home adaptations take place to help Freya’s partner
- Assess the need for a care package
- Consistent engagement and progress
- with support through one-to-one sessions with support worker
- Freya able to identify alternative employment opportunities identified and to have confidence to explore these if needed.
- Development of strategies and engagement with other services available to support with daughter’s behaviour
- Referral to adult safeguarding team if needed
- Engagement with appropriate Alana House groups to address support needs
- Referral and engagement with other agencies for additional support
Support at Alana House began and Freya attended regular one-to-one sessions with the support worker as well as group sessions including the Emotional Intelligence course.
To support her mental health, Freya was referred for counselling sessions at Alana House as well as receiving support from the Reading Community Mental Health team. Her support worker set up support for Freya’s partner, advocating for and ensuring the adaption of Freya’s home to make it easier for her partner to move around. The support worker gave Freya’s partner details about Macmillan Cancer Support and shared information about adult social care with Freya to help her provide better care for her parents.
Through one-to-one sessions, Freya gained skills in managing her finances better and developed plans for next steps in employment should she be dismissed. She effectively improved her IT skills through referrals to Resume Foundation and New Directions. She was also given details of MoneyHelper to access free money and pensions advice, and was sent information about how to protect her eligibility for benefits following her personal injury claim.
Support was put in place to help Freya’s daughter, particularly at school. The Alana House support worker enabled Freya to set up free school meals for her daughter, as well as sourcing a grant for her to go on a residential course and making a referral for extra support in school. Working with Reading Family Aid, a partner of Alana House, Freya was also provided with tickets for her and her family to attend a panto, and it was arranged for her daughter to receive a Christmas present
Freya has engaged well with the different types of support offered to her and has appreciated the opportunities to meet new people and socialise. She feels Alana House is a safe place to come to talk about things that worry her without fear of judgement.
* Name changed for confidentiality
Alana House is important to me because it’s a safe haven to express how I’m feeling, talk about my concerns, and reflect on the past weeks, in a confidential environment… I know I am supported. If I need support between one-to-ones I can contact Alana House and I will always be contacted back. Alana House are always my first port of call. Alana House support workers show so much empathy and compassion.