Fred is an EU national who came to the UK this year. He became homeless in the Victoria area and began attending The Passage Resource Centre. His mental health worker noticed his self-care diminishing. He was often seen sitting alone, not engaging with others.
Investigations indicated he had a diagnosis of schizophrenia and had been medically treated with an anti-psychotic depot in his home city while under the care of a Mental Health team there.
He had discontinued his treatment on leaving and was adamant he would not return or allow The Passage’s mental health worker to arrange treatment for him in the UK. Although no significant psychotic symptoms or risks were apparent he did present as depressed and unmotivated preferring to sleep rough and declining offers of emergency accommodation.
Slowly over time Fred’s dedicated mental health worker built up a good therapeutic relationship with him, which led to him being more open about his experiences prior to becoming homeless. He disclosed that his mother had died the previous month before coming to London and that he was grieving for her as she was the only person with whom he had a good relationship. He also said that it felt like the psychiatric treatment he received prevented him from feeling and processing his emotions organically. He also indicated he felt he had to remove himself physically from his country of origin as living in the same city where his mother had lived was too painful and raw.
Although he was frightened of being detained under the Mental Health Act, he agreed for his mental health worker to arrange a medication review from the visiting mental health team. He declined their advice at the consultation but agreed to continue to meet me every week for a catch up.
Meeting with him every week, adopting a softly, softly approach and allowing him to express his feelings safely at his pace appeared to be therapeutic. Over a couple of months his self -care and mood improved and eventually he confided he was feeling better.
On discussion and encouragement he accepted a supported reconnection and was returned safely home with appropriate support.