Helen's pathway to success

Helen*, who has a recurrent depressive illness, Borderline Personality Disorder and mild learning disability alongside a number of physical health challenge, has required support from services throughout her adult life – including multiple admissions to NHS hospital settings.

Now in her 50s, she came to Lakeside after the breakdown of a community placement. She had been self-harming while living in the community, including an incident where she experienced significant burns. She had begun to hear voices telling her to harm herself and others, and assaulted a member of staff.

After this worrying incident whe was admitted to an NHS assessment and treatment hospital, but continued to be violent there. She was admitted to Lakeside as the team around her felt it could be a better longer term option for treatment and better meet Helen’s needs.

For some time, Helen continued to struggle and continued to lash out at her staff team and to try to harm herself. The team worked positively and carefully with Helen and, after three months, she improved dramatically.

Helen liked the environment and began to participate in the Lakeside Dialectical Behaviour Therapy programme, which is modified to support people with a learning disability. Over time, she adopted the DBT skills and was using them positively.

Helen had previously done DBT but this was the first time she had trusted the team around her. Within 12 months she was going out on unescorted leave, she had stopped self-harming and there was a significant reduction in her medication, including stopping two entirely.

From a physical health point of view, Helen was supported through visual impairment, high cholesterol and asthma with appropriate adjustments made to her care and support. She continued to make excellent progress and recently moved to a community placement where she can continue with her DBT.

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