Today Carly* describes herself as bright and happy – words she would never have used two years ago before embarking on her transformational path at Oaklands. The difference she feels now, from where she was when taken into hospital, has been life-changing.
“My life had become so chaotic and stressful I couldn’t cope. I was very unhappy in those days. Not wanting to get out of bed in the mornings, not wanting to wash – basically, my life was terrible.”
How Oaklands helped Carly
Having spent time in hospital due to being a drug user for years, her mental and physical health had been severely impacted. After six months in hospital, staff felt it was the right time for Carly to leave, but didn’t think she was in a position to go home. This was when it was agreed that the best next step would be to receive specialist support from the team at Oaklands. As a Priory specialist residential setting, individuals with mental health needs are given a dedicated, person-centred plan to help them with their recovery.
It was from here that Carly began working through the Recovery Star method to help reach her goals. It’s quite common for residents to feel daunted about what will happen next and how they will manage to work towards their recovery goals, but the methods used with Recovery Star are done in manageable ways to keep individuals on-track.
“I never saw myself doing the things that they expected of me, like, getting up early every day, cleaning, showering on a daily basis, going to courses and even going out and socialising and going on holiday. These were all things I had never thought about doing in the past, especially the way my life had been going before I had gone to hospital.” In fact, once Carly quickly settled in, she looked forward to her sessions and woke up “feeling bright and happy” at the prospect of what the day ahead would bring.
Achieving positive outcomes
The smaller goals that she was achieving were developed into bigger goals, which resulted in taking a holiday, which she never dreamed would have been possible.
“One big event of the year at Oaklands was going on holiday which I had not done for years and years. This made me feel special inside. This holiday, along with the day-to-day living stuff that I was getting used to made me feel like a much better and more motivated person.”
Aside from the work Carly was doing with the support team at Oaklands, she also began to take up new hobbies herself, which included taking a keen interest in photography. Within no time, she had found the confidence to enter a competition and won the £125 prize.
“The £125 could not have come at a better time as I was just moving into my new flat. ‘What an achievement’ I thought to myself, ‘I have come so far’. Staff and my mum have helped me to decorate and furnish my flat, they have been so helpful, and it is lovely.”
*Name has been changed to protect the resident's identity.