Rachel's story

Follow Rachel's story, from being admitted to Lichfield Road to being discharged into supported accommodation.

Rachel was admitted to Lichfield Road after spending a considerable amount time on an acute ward where she had made very little progress.

Rachel has a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, and had served in the army, before becoming unwell.

On admission, Rachel was comforted and reassured that she would be cared for by a staff team who would work with her and who would take the time to get to know her, ensure her voice was heard and who were committed to supporting her recovery.

During the first few weeks, Rachel suffered from debilitating flashbacks and experienced audio and visual hallucinations. Rachel was never alone throughout this time, and staff were able to strike a balance between ensuring Rachel was safe and supported but also had her own safe space to return to once she felt able. Staff became aware of the triggers for Rachel’s flashbacks and ensured that they were present at these times, to help her ground herself, offer reassurance, and help her feel safe and comforted.

The relationship Rachel developed with staff was key not only to her recovery but also in re-establishing contact with her mother. Rachel began to enjoy visits from her mother and spend time at the family home, with the support of the Lichfield team.

Rachel engaged with occupational therapy in re-learning skills like shopping for groceries and cooking her own meals, being in the community, rediscovering her love for exercise and taking part in group activities. She also benefitted from psychology interventions, helping her address her trauma, manage her anxiety and build her confidence and assertiveness. As her confidence increased, Rachel was successful in obtaining one of the real work opportunity roles, and undertook her housekeeper role with care, attention and reliability.

Rachel was made informal one year later, and began to work with her community team to explore community living options. She was also going to the family home for weekends, and spent her first Christmas at home in over five years. Her mother told the team: “You have given me my daughter back.”

Two years on, following a successful joint transition plan, Rachel was discharged to supported accommodation in an area she was familiar with and that is close to her family. It is clear that the skills Rachel re-established alongside the support given, and the confidence she regained, were integral to her continued recovery and success.

Upon discharge Rachel told the team: “I cannot believe my life now, compared to who I was when I arrived here, and I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me.”

*Patient’s name and image has been changed to protect their identity. 


Rachel's story

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