Bill reflects on his time at Hazelmead House

Bill* is a 21 year old male with a diagnosis of emotionally unstable borderline personality disorder. Prior to moving to Hazelmead House (one of our supported housing schemes for residents with mental health needs), he had a history of Class B drug use and was living at home with his mum and an abusive stepfather. All these elements caused a strain on their relationship resulting in Bill moving out of the family home.

Homeless young man

“When I moved in (to Hazelmead), I was extremely suspicious of staff and I didn’t like taking medication” recalls Bill. “At first I spent most days in bed but, once I had got to know them and my keyworker, I began to engage in activities - both in the project and externally. This made me more able to talk about my Class B drug use and how it impacted on my mental and physical health”.

After several weeks of talking to staff and the mental health team (Early Intervention) Bill decided to cease his drug use. This was a very difficult decision for him but with the support of staff and his determination to stop he has now been drug free for six months.

Bill has found that since his move to Hazelmead his mental health has improved “.. to such an extent that I have been able to visit my friends in Germany, something I did not think I would be able to do. I organised the whole trip with minimal support form staff. Added to this I have completed training to become a Peer Mentor for the Avon and Wiltshire Partnership (NHS), which gives me the opportunity to support people who are experiencing the same difficulties I have had. I am also planning to further develop my skills by doing a course on counselling.”

Bill is currently planning, with the help of his keyworker, to move to independent living in the next three months. Becoming more forward thinking, he is now keen to take the next steps.

Reflecting on his move Bill added; “If I had not moved to Hazelmead I would have probably continued my drug use and my mental health may have deteriorated to such a degree that I could have ended up hospitalised - or worse! I would have continued to see, and suffer from, abuse at home too which, being away from this now, I know would have been insufferable”.

*Name changed to protect our residents privacy.