H was referred into the Community Substance Misuse service on 1st December 2016 by a Money Management worker at Yorkshire Coast Homes. It was identified that H had some financial issues and this along with other stressors had resulted in her relying on cannabis to maintain calm and aid sleep.
The Community Substance Misuse worker completed an assessment of need. It was apparent that H had significant health issues. She is registered blind and has diabetes. She is also the sole parent to two adolescents (one still lives at home) and relies on benefits and the support of an ex-partner who lives close by.
The Community Substance Misuse worker gave immediate harm reduction advice regarding cannabis and mental health as well as discussing the issues smoking cannabis at home could cause to her child and her tenancy. H disclosed feeling isolated and lonely and felt she smoked cannabis to aid sleep so she could ‘get through the day quickly’. The Community Substance Misuse Worker (CSMW) spoke about symptoms of depression. It was clear H was very isolated. She was happy to accept any referrals offered as she wanted an improvement to her lifestyle. The CSMW advocated for a Living Well Support Worker to support H and this was quickly put in place. The CSMW also researched the sight support service in Scarborough and H began attending this service with the support of her Living Well Support Worker.
During a second appointment with H she began to disclose issues relating to her ex-partner and her finances. It was clear she was being financially abused by him. He was also a Yorkshire Coast Homes (YCH) tenant and had been dishonest about his income and was in arrears with his rent. This information was shared with YCH. With H’s permission the CSMW re-referred her back to the money management service of YCH in addition to supporting H to phone her bank and change accounts so the ex-partner could no longer gain access to her finances.
During a further appointment H showed the CSMW around her property as she believed it was damp and mouldy. Due to her deteriorating eyesight H was unaware of the true impact of the damp issue which had spread throughout the whole property. The CSMW sent a task to her housing officer asking for a rapid assessment.
YCH have acknowledged the property is in need of significant repairs. The housing officer has also identified that H requires more suitable accommodation for her physical needs and is actively supporting her with this.
During a recent visit H stated she has reduced her cannabis use and explains she has done this because she realises the impact it was having on her mental health and because her ex-partner is no longer around as much as he was the person supplying H. H is motivated to stop using cannabis and has already noticed an improvement to how she feels and her thoughts.
Humankind worker: “During the support the Community Substance Misuse Worker 9CSMW) has provided to H she has been made a priority for rehousing with Yorkshire Coast Homes (YCH) who are bidding on her behalf for more suitable, smaller properties. YCH are currently addressing the damp problem also. H is engaging with YCH Money Management service to address her debts. Now she has regained sole control of her bank account and is no longer being financially abused she is able to address her debts and have money saved for her imminent relocation.
H appears much happier and less lethargic which she believes is due to the reduction in her cannabis use, maintaining her health and having increased self-esteem. She is starting to set herself goals and thinking more about her long term future. H is due for an assessment for a guide dog and although there is a substantial waiting-list she is looking forward to the support this can offer her in the future.
SU number 11723