Congratulations ML, you’re a shining example!
At Heathcotes Group, supporting our service users to complete a transition into independent living is one of the most worthwhile and rewarding aspects of what we do. The journey is never completely smooth and there are always a few bumps along the road, but the sense of achievement is even greater for all concerned when individuals overcome difficult periods to achieve their goal. That feeling certainly rings true for ML, who this month became the second resident at our Hembrigg Park service to complete her treatment programme and step down into a more independent residential service. There is a world of difference between the ML who moved into Hembrigg Park and the ML who moved out – it’s not so much a transition as a transformation!
When ML arrived at Hembrigg Park, in September 2016, she had previously had multiple placement breakdowns and needed high levels of support. ML is diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, which affects the way she perceives other people and engages with them. She could be impulsive and demanding in her relationships and had difficulty maintaining close and stable relationships with others. The early weeks of ML’s placement were especially challenging with anxiety, a reluctance to engage and frequent problem behaviour requiring a lot of support from the Heathcotes team. However, ML persevered with the skills she had been learning in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and started to speak more freely about her emotions and feelings. This progression marked a turning point and she soon started to blossom with much more confidence and emotional awareness.
ML started attending church and became socially involved in the community, using her unescorted leave to go to coffee mornings and choir practice. She also became more actively involved in Heathcotes’ services and stepped up to a senior role within group sessions, assisting Cathy Conway, the Individual DBT Therapist, in teaching new individuals about key elements of DBT. Her knowledge and ability to relate her experience of the subject was a real asset during training.
Having made new friends and built some good relationships during her journey, ML’s true nature is now shining through – her kindness, enthusiasm, and sense of humour have made her one of the biggest and most popular personalities at Hembrigg Park. She has now started a new chapter in her life with a move to one of our specialist residential services and many of Heathcotes’ staff were keen to express their pleasure in witnessing and being part of ML’s recovery:
Kevin Wilburn, Service Manager: “ML, you have had such a positive impact on our service and you have done amazingly well in your journey. I am so proud of all you have accomplished. The sky is your limit - good luck!”
Cathy Conway, Individual DBT Therapist: “The DBT team will continue to offer ML support as needed to help her onto the next stage of building a life worth living. We also hope she will continue to work alongside us with new service users and staff to help people’s understanding of the skills. Well done ML, we’ve been so impressed with your progress! We will miss you in Skills group and wish you every happiness going forward.”
Ryan Granger, North West Regional Manager: “ML, I can honestly say you have done everybody so proud with your commitment to DBT. You have made it a complete success for yourself, and I wish you all the best in the future, wherever your path takes you.”
Gemma Hollingsworth, Head of Services: “ML and I have spent many times discussing makeup and eyebrow techniques, as well as what outfits to wear with what shoes! She has come such a long way since she first moved in and this is because she has focused herself on the therapy with the support of the Hembrigg Park staff. She practically runs the groups now!”
Natalia Lysiuk, Head of Commissioning: “I remember meeting ML when she first moved to Hembrigg Park. She was a quiet, reserved and reluctant to interact. Twelve months on, she has transformed into a bubbly, confident young woman who always brightens my day when I visit the service. Good luck on your onward journey, ML - we wish you every success!
Craig Lister, South West Yorkshire Regional Manager: “It has been great to see you go from strength to strength and support others within the service and group sessions. I am happy you will be moving next door, where you will be able to become even more independent and grow even more!
We’ll leave the last words to two Hembrigg Park service users -
IR: “It will be very strange not seeing you in a morning, showing us all your makeup and clothes. I enjoyed all the walks we have been on and jumping in the lakes! We have shared a lot of memories and I hope to keep this up when you move next door – well done!”
DW: “I haven't known ML long but I will miss singing karaoke with her and I will miss how when I'm sad she makes me smile. Good luck!”