New Routes Mentoring

Family situation:

Person ‘B’s Mum was absent, initially. ‘Person B’ stayed at the family home with his father and older sister (‘Person B’s relationship with his sister could be very strained; however, ‘Person B’s sister took a carer’s role within the family). Older brother is deceased. ‘Person B’ has a child with his ex-partner whom he has a good relationship with.

Background:

‘Person B’ signed up to the New Routes service whilst he was in HMP Glenochil. ‘Person B’ was a first-time offender, in for drug dealing.

Prior to HMP and upon leaving HMP, ‘Person B’ returned to the family home to stay with his father and sister. ‘Person B’s mother had left when ‘Person B’ was a child, and from what ‘Person B’ advised, this was quite a traumatic departure which involved the emergency services. ‘Person B’s older brother had died the year before from a heart defect. ‘Person B’ found him. ‘Person B’ had also witnessed a suicide when he was on holiday a few years before. Due to his brother’s death and some other traumatic events, ‘Person B’ was diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder.

The mentor was able to support ‘Person B’ and was able to see how this affected him in different ways and situations. At times, ‘Person B’ could be like a child and needed his sister to support him to get ready for appointments (i.e. lay his clothes out as it was too stressful for him). This also massively dented ‘Person B’s self-esteem. ‘Person B’ advised that he was unable to go out unless he knew exactly where he was going, how he was getting there and what time he would be back. If things changed, ‘Person B’ was unable to cope with this. ‘Person B’ would drink alcohol and take cocaine in order to manage/avoid his feelings.

Challenge working towards (i.e. mental health, addictions, employment etc.):

‘Person B’s main challenges were getting mental health support and working on his offending behaviour and minimising his substance misuse.

Services engaged with:

New Routes, SAMH, Trauma Clinic, GP, Job Centre

What ‘Person B’ did:

‘Person B’ eventually engaged fully with the New Routes service and put his trust in his mentor. The mentor first met ‘Person B’ in the community as he had been released from HMP Glenochil on a Home Detention Curfew. When I first met ‘Person B’, the meetings were very brief, at the front door of his family home. ‘Person B’ did not want the mentor in his house and initially he refused to even come out for a coffee with the mentor. However, after managing to overcome this initial non engagement, ‘Person B’ engaged fully with the service.

‘Person B’ admitted that he does not find it easy to trust people and so this had been a struggle for him. ‘Person B’ and the mentor continued to work together on a weekly basis for 18 months after this. ‘Person B’ always attended his meetings and was open and honest with the mentor about how he was feeling; ‘Person B’ would tell the mentor when he felt suicidal, when he felt too angry, and all his concerns. ‘Person B’ was also willing to work with the mentor to find solutions to his concerns. By the time ‘Person B’s service came to an end, ‘Person B’ was able to contact the GP by himself and make an appointment.

What the mentor did:

The mentor made the referrals that ‘Person B’ needed to the Job Centre and SAMH. The mentor supported and encouraged ‘Person B’ to engage with these services. The mentor would meet ‘Person B’ prior to appointments and accompany him to appointments, going in with him if ‘Person B’ felt that he needed this support.

The mentor encouraged ‘Person B’ to engage fully with his GP around his mental health issues. As a result of this, ‘Person B’ was given a referral to the Trauma Clinic. Again, the mentor supported ‘Person B’ to attend his first Trauma Clinic appointments. Unfortunately, things started to deteriorate at the Trauma Clinic due to the violent nature of ‘Person B’s reactions to situations. It was decided that it was unsafe to carry on the trauma focussed work with ‘Person B’ until he had learned how to manage his behaviour.

The mentor re-referred ‘Person B’ to SAMH (he had been closed to SAMH as he was at the end of his service with them) and with SAMH and the mentor’s support ‘Person B’ was able to do offence focused work, looking at why he reacts to things the way he does and how he could react differently – an example of this, is when something happened with ‘Person B’s sister and she was assaulted. ‘Person B’ advised that he asked his sister about this; what had happened; who had done it, but his sister refused to tell him.

‘Person B’ spoke with the mentor about this and the mentor was able to open the discussion that maybe his sister wasn’t telling him what happened and with whom because the last time she did, he violently assaulted someone who had nothing to do with the situation. I explained to ‘Person B’ that his sister may be frightened of his reaction. It took a while for ‘Person B’ to understand this, but eventually, ‘Person B’ came to see things from another’s point of view. ‘Person B’ apologised to his sister and left things alone. After a few months of intensive offence focused work, ‘Person B’ was able to work with the Trauma Clinic again.

As a result of getting support with his mental health issues, ‘Person B’ stopped misusing substances. ‘Person B’ advised that he was able to recognise that alcohol and drugs were making his feelings worse and causing him to offend. Due to the support provided to ‘Person B’ and him beginning to trust other people, he was able to re-build his relationship with his Mum. As a result of this, ‘Person B’s relationship with his sister got better. The mentor also referred ‘Person B’s sister to a carer’s support group so that she was getting support too.

What support services did?

In ‘Person B’s own words, New Routes provided a “safety net” for him. Support services provided ‘Person B’ with the support and encouragement he needed to make changes in his life. New Routes and SAMH provided offence focused sessions, whilst providing support to attend appointments and supporting ‘Person B’ with his mental health issues, his family issues and his emotions.

New Routes also provided a great deal of practical support to ‘Person B’, supporting him to start his benefits, supporting to put his name on the housing list, supporting him to make GP appointments and attend them and supporting him to Trauma Clinic appointments and DWP and PIP appointments.

What was the Outcome?

‘Person B’ is now in Universal Credit and PIP. ‘Person B’ is engaging with his GP and the Trauma Clinic. ‘Person B’ advised that he felt New Routes supported him with his mental health issues; his self-esteem; the ability to make decisions by himself; and “made me feel as if I could spread my wings”. ‘Person B’ is now hoping to start in the family business, letting caravans, with his Mum. What message should we take away from reading this? Keep trying. When the mentor first met ‘Person B’, he was hostile about support and did not really want to engage. However, both ‘Person B’ and the mentor kept trying and eventually ‘Person B’ engaged fully with the service and made excellent progress.