Mental Health Navigation: Deidre's story
Deidre was diagnosed with PTSD 20 years ago, and in 2021 her mental health started to deteriorate. She attributes this to not being able to see her sons due to the ongoing lockdowns. She reached out to her GP for support and through the Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) was referred to psychological support through mental health services, but there was a long waiting list. In the interim, she had a number of ongoing social issues that were going unaddressed, so the CPN also made a referral to the local Mental Health Navigator.
Deidre explained that this is “absolutely what I needed at the time” and she was contacted a few days after the referral was made from the Mental Health Navigator. Together they went through the holistic needs assessment tool and identified areas where Deidre could benefit from support. They discussed short-term, realistic goals and worked together to structure and plan what that would mean for Deidre. At first this included keeping up to date with household tasks and cooking for herself. This then developed into plans to leave the house on a regular basis and regaining confidence socialising again. Together they worked on ways that Deidre could work on her family relationships and build social connections again.
The support was tailored to Deidre’s needs and says that the level of contact with her Mental Health Navigator was reflective of what she needed as she built in confidence in herself. Her long-term goal was to return to work and together with the Mental Health Navigator they broke this down into steps she needed to be able to achieve this goal. Her first step was to get online and access her emails, this led to her contacting her employer by email regarding the steps and processes of a staged return to work. Through taking a slow and considered approach together Deidre was able to return to work, confidently transitioning successfully back into full-time employment.
Deidre shares “I take it for granted where I am now”. She explains this isn’t the level of support she can receive from her clinical team and describes the additional support she received from the Mental Health Navigator as invaluable.