Case study: small group mental health workshops April 2021
Stuart is a member of Winchester Go LD, he is 45 years old. Stuart was diagnosed with a learning disability through a statemented assessment at senior school. He lives in a supported flat close to Winchester City Centre. There are 10 people in the block of flats that Stuart lives in, and 7 of them are Winchester Go LD members. A routine and a sense of purpose is exceptionally important for Stuart and so during lockdown, being contained in his flat has been incredibly tough.
Stuart works 5 days a week as part of the Facilities Management team for Hampshire County Council. Stuart likes to have enough time to ensure he is ready for work in the mornings and so he wakes up at 5am!
Since lockdown, Stuart has struggled with being unable to go out for meals with his friends and it has been more difficult to socialise. Stuart is an incredible listener and with this, tends to take on his peers’ worries. It has been hard to switch off from this during lockdown due to being constantly connected with people through digital means such as WhatsApp and Zoom.
Since taking part in the wellbeing workshops with Compassionate Cuppa, Stuart said that he has benefitted from being able to socialise on Zoom with his friends. He has found it easier to talk to his peers in the smaller group sessions with Compassionate Cuppa. These group sessions have helped him deal with some stressful things during Lockdown and Stuart says “when you share your worries, you don’t feel alone”.
Stuart can feel anxious at times and the group sessions have given him the opportunity to talk through the things that make him feel anxious. Stuart told us that
“…it doesn’t seem as bad when you can talk things through”.
Stress used to be something that Stuart struggled to manage and he recognised that “life is more stressful now than it used to be”. Stuart gave an example of a current stress which is keeping up with the lockdown rules changing. He said that it can be difficult to get your head around them. During the course, Stuart learnt new techniques of dealing with stress. He will now either put some music on and if that doesn’t work, he will go on a walk. He also learnt a new breathing exercise to help him manage stress which he uses if he needs to. Stuart said “I’m much better about stress now than I used to be”!
During lockdown, Stuart had his support hours reduced and he now only receives half an hour of support per week. Stuart is happy with the amount of one-to-one adult services support he receives every week. He has found the walk and talks with Winchester Go LD very helpful to relax during lockdown, he particularly enjoys being outside in the countryside and when Hector (the dog) joins him.
Stuart is in a relationship with another Winchester Go LD member. He said that they have been together for “some years”, so many he has lost count! His partner also took part in the course and Stuart agreed that the course helped them with communication.
Stuart would like to take part in the course again. The only thing he would want changing is that he would like everyone to be able to be face to face, rather than on Zoom!