We have been working with Alison for almost 3 years. When we first met Alison, she shared her traumatic experiences with us, many of which involved physical and sexual abuse as a child. For six months, Alison had been staying at home alone everyday with the curtains closed, unable to leave the house, fearful of others and suffering with depression and anxiety.
Our Mental Health Caseworker started to regularly visit Alison at home, to offer support in the only place she felt safe. Together they talked through Alison’s trauma and how elements of her past continued to affect her life as an adult. Alison had wanted to become a teacher, and had even started a university course. However without any support for her mental health, Alison’s confidence and self-esteem had deteriorated and with little family or friends nearby, she had developed severe anxiety.
Gradually, after some time and several home visits, Alison stepped outside for the first time. She began to take walks, with our caseworker around the block and then on to the local park. Being out in nature and fresh air brought Alison’s hopes back into view and she started to think positively about her future again. We accompanied Alison to GP appointments and provided her with lifts into the centre for group courses and counselling. She has since grown in confidence even more and even managed to attend our annual awards ceremony for a short period of time which was a huge achievement. We are working together with Alison to ensure that her specific needs are always factored in and that our approach is always trauma-responsive. Alison is still receiving support to attend group courses at Anawim and we are hopeful that she will continue to move forwards towards a brighter future.