Susan's Story

Susan suffered with ongoing mental ill health for as long as she could remember. This includes agoraphobia, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, self-harm, self-neglect, social isolation, money issues and insomnia.

5 years ago, following the break-up of a relationship, Susan stopped engaging with all medical services due to her severe agoraphobia. A referral was received from Susan’s housing officer at Rugby District Council, following an inspection on her property. She was concerned by how Susan appeared to be living and advised us that Susan would not leave her house and would sit in the dark all day.

Support from Doorway began in July 2015 and after a few visits to get to know Susan and assess her support needs, an emergency appointment was made with her G.P. for a mental health assessment referral. This was completed and Susan was diagnosed with border line personality disorder as well as the other issues.

She was accepted by the Community Mental Health Team for ongoing services and now has weekly psychiatrist appointments and medication. Once Susan had a formal diagnosis she was able to apply for Employment Support Allowance and Personal independence payments to maximise her income. This is something Susan avoided doing previously due to the appointments and assessments involved, however with support she was able to attend these and was eventually awarded over £2000 in backdated benefits.

Susan’s son had left home meaning her rent was reduced due to the bedroom tax, however this also meant Susan couldn’t move due to the arrears which this caused. Successfully maximising Susan’s income meant that she could now look at her money issues, considerably reducing her anxiety in relation to her finances. Susan arranged a mutual exchange to downsize to a smaller property, so as not to be liable for bedroom tax. This was a major achievement for Susan as she managed this herself which has involved strangers coming to view her house which would never have happened previously, as before she began receiving support, Susan would not let even close family members into her property.

Susan still can’t leave the house on her own, however she is managing to get out more with support from her family. She is managing to shop better and is eating more healthily. She has started to do some light exercise to address poor physical health and is receiving therapy and medication.