Battling back from a bombshell

| Care and Support

When Adrian, who has alcoholism, was ready to help himself, he got all the support he needed from Metropolitan

Metropolitan customer Adrian

In 1999, Adrian got a stark warning from his GP. Carry on the way he was and he was unlikely to survive another two years.

“He said my prospects were dire, but that was a long time ago,” says Adrian. “It was a wake-up call that led to me improving my life in every way.”

He had been unwell for years, but had ignored the voices and delusions that frequently disrupted his wellbeing.

“I hadn’t sought medical intervention,” he admits. “I used alcohol and recreational drugs, such as cannabis and heroin, as medication, which made me worse.

“I sought help when I gave up drink; I was finally prepared to help myself, I guess.”

He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and prescribed medication. “Generally speaking, I’ve been feeling a lot better ever since,” he says.

But he needed to escape an environment where alcohol and illegal drugs were the dominant force.

He moved in with his younger sister, whose research led her to Metropolitan’s collection of mental health services in the Hertfordshire town of Letchworth.

Adrian’s social worker made a referral for him in 2005. At first, he lived at Blackmore – a floating support service for adults with mental health needs – before it was suggested that he might benefit from more intensive support.

He moved to Springshott, a round-the-clock supported housing service, where he has contact with staff on a daily basis.

“I get a lot of support here,” he says. “The staff help with many things. We eat a good diet and we’re encouraged to be clean and tidy, and to socialise.”

Adrian has a busy social calendar. He joined the local Methodist church club, for instance, where he goes twice a week. “It’s a nice venue and you get a good lunch,” he says.

He also enjoys regular visits to garden centres, walks in the countryside and trips to the cinema with his support worker.

“Coming to Letchworth has definitely improved my life,” he states. “In fact, it’s probably saved my life.”