Jane* became a Community Connections Program (CCP) participant through Baptist Care SA, after she sought help with trauma and depression caused by domestic violence, and experiencing chronic pain.
At age 50, Jane had been on medication for schizophrenia for many years. When she entered the CCP, she was struggling to control her emotions and had suicidal thoughts.
“I’m in survival mode, no enjoyment” she said as she revealed she hardly ever left her house, and mostly only left her bed to warm some food up in the microwave oven.
Baptist Care’s case manager Lucy* responded quickly with a client risk and safety assessment plan for Jane, to make sure that Jane didn’t follow through on her suicidal thoughts. She then helped Jane to set some goals with regards to social connection and health management. Among these Jane expressed a wish to get her drivers’ license.
With the help of a GP, Jane was referred to an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist to help with the chronic pain she was experiencing. At the time that she completed her CCP participation, Jane was experiencing much less pain.
She also had a mental health care plan put in place and was referred to a bulk-billing psychology service, where she sees a psychologist once every three weeks. The psychologist is submitting a NDIS application for Jane.
Jane needed domestic violence counselling, which Lucy arranged for her. And, as she was in dire financial straits, she could access financial counselling services through the Women’s Legal Services to learn more about budgeting and saving.
During the time that Jane was a CCP participant, her father passed away. Lucy helped her to attend an appointment with a funeral home and advocated for her to be given financial assistance for the funeral.
Getting out and about
Slowly but surely, Jane started to leave the house for more than just grocery shopping or medical appointments. She signed up to attend three group activities per week – a cooking course, a women’s support group and an art therapy group. Lucy attended the first sessions with her to help her ease into the new activities.
“It’s good that I am getting out and about. I am not lying in bed all the time.”
The Community Passenger Network was roped in to help her get to these social and medical appointments, with a 50% discount to boot. She was assisted to apply for a taxi subsidy card, which she has since received, and is learning to navigate the public transport system using Google maps.
But Jane wants even more independence, and during her 12 weeks in the program signed up for a “Getting your L’s” program. She passed the test with a high score after she left the CCP program.
Jane had an exit interview after her 12 weeks in the CCP. It’s here that she said to Lucy: “I am tired, because I am so busy. I am nervous and excited about the Getting Your L’s, the art class seems to be alright. It’s good that I am getting out and about. I am not lying in bed all the time, you are terrific at your job.”
*Not their real names.