Mental Health Awareness Week 2020: Simon's Story

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When Simon lost his job, he started drinking and his mental health took a dark turn.

Battling his increasing alcohol dependency, he began to fall behind on his rent payments.

Simon knew he needed to find a new job quickly, but his addiction and mental health issues were making searching and applying for a new position more and more difficult.

When Simon became homeless, he turned to Aberdeen Cyrenians for help.

Our support practitioners helped Simon apply for universal credit and access temporary accomodation from the council.

They also referred him to Street Alternatives - our hot meals service - which provided him with a hot, three course meal four times a week, and access to shower and laundry facilities.

At Street Alternatives, Simon also joined our music group, and found that singing with others helped still his troubled thoughts.

We lisitened to Simon.

He could talk about his troubles for as long as he needed.

With our support, he began to acknowledge that he was suffering with addiction, anxiety and depression.

His support practitioner arranged a GP appoitnment for him, and travelled with him to the appointment.

He was prescribed some medication, and his support worker helped him take his prescription to the pharmacy and set up a repeat prescription.

Getting help from Aberdeen Cyrenians has been life-changing for me. When I first came to them, I was drained, tired and felt like giving up. They really inspired me to make changes.

Simon, Aberdeen Cyrenians service user

Simon was drinking less, but was still strugling to get his addiction under control.

He was worried that he would spend all his benefits on alcohol.

His support worker referred him to the city's Integrated Alcohol Service so he could get the help he needed.

When we found Simon a new, permanent home, he admitted to his support worker that he found the evenings lonely.

He didn't like spending time on his own, and sturggled to find things to do to fill the day.

He worried that he would slip backwards into depresson.

His support worker helped him to go along to some local groups, and meet people and have fun.

Simon has now been living on his own for a year and a half.

He now has a full-time job.

He still sees his support worker - but only once every few months.

He talks and they listen.

I'm slowly moving forward, working hard, and I now have a full-tme job. You've made a positive mark in my life and I will never forget you.

Simon, Aberdeen Cyrenians service user
Support our work helping vulnerable people with their emotional wellbeing this Mental Health Awareness Week