Simon* has had a diagnosis of personality disorder from a young age, severe anxiety and depression and Asperger Syndrome. He is being supported by our Intensive Housing Management service in Kirklees.
Where I was living before was supposedly a supported living place, but all the space we got was a bedroom area and everything else was shared. The other people living there were mainly drug addicts with violent tendencies. I was so scared, that I did not come out of my bedroom. Going to the toilet and into the kitchen was difficult. I would wait until it was late at night to come out of my room if I felt brave enough. I used to wee in the sink as I daren’t leave my room, which was a mess as I daren’t take the rubbish out so it looked like I was hoarding.
The other tenants were stealing money off me. I was intimidated and having to pay people to stay away from me. One of the tenants would have anger fits which set off my anxiety. I would try to hide behind a wardrobe in the middle of the night in tears. I used to call my mum; she was very distressed about my situation. I had lived there a year and tried to kill myself three times.
My CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) told me about Water Street and referred me here as he had a couple of other clients living here. I had to wait a few months but the day I got there was one of the happiest days of my life.
At Water Street, my life is hugely different. My flat is huge compared to my old room, I feel safe and secure. That has a huge impact when you have anxiety. I like it on the top floor, I don’t have to check my windows any more.
We have events here to foster community spirit and it all adds up to improving my mental health. I don’t experience that high level of anxiety any more. I still have depression but I have more support now. I’m not on my own, trapped in a little room, scared of going out.
My family have noticed a massive difference. Now my mental health is stable, my support workers are able to build on that and get me to do things such as going to the gym, travelling on buses, going shopping and overnight visits to my family. I attend events and am able to have conversations with people.
If I hadn’t got out of my last place, I would probably be dead by now as I would have killed myself or mentally snapped away from reality to protect myself.
* Not his real name