Forensic Mental Health Case Study – *Kit's story

Kit is a middle-aged man with an unequivocal long history of violence and a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. His mental health was complicated and resistant to treatment because of polysubstance misuse which started when he was 13 years old.

Kit was transferred to Penrose FOCUS from hospital in May 2018, having been on admission for several years where he had moved from a high secure unit to medium and eventually to a ward in the community. His discharge to Penrose began with a series of overnight leave which served as induction into a high support accommodation.

At Penrose, Kit was immediately allocated a keyworker who met with him for keywork sessions every 2 weeks. They discussed issues of concern and explored his areas of interest to help him engage in meaningful activities. Kit was discharged on a Community Treatment Order (CTO) and staff supported him regularly to comply with his prescribed medication which were initially kept in a secure locked cabinet. He was prompted and reminded frequently to take his medication and staff supervised him to ensure compliance.

To maximise his income, Kit was supported to apply for a Freedom Pass, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and contact was made to The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to increase his rate of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) as he now lives in the community. He was also registered at a local GP surgery and signposted to see other primary health care practitioners such as a dentist, optician, and podiatrist.

Having previously worked as a chef, Kit chose to reinvigorate his cooking skills. He was supported and encouraged to lead and coordinate a weekly baking class with other residents every Saturday. He also spent time in other structured activities and attended basic ICT training and a maths workshop. When he passed the first level of his IT class, he was celebrated by staff, applauded by others, and issued a £10 Tesco voucher and a certificate of achievement. 

Kit was also encouraged and supported to re-establish contact with his family. He now enjoys a close relationship with them, so much so that he participated in a family wedding party as Best Man in his cousin’s wedding. Staff supported him to source a wedding suit and matching pair of shoes at affordable cost.

By the end of January 2020, Kit had gained confidence, developed independent living skills, and served as a peer mentor to other residents in the house.

Penrose Focus works in close partnership with the Lambeth Forensic Mental Health Team (LFMHT). As with all other residents, Kit’s progress was reviewed at the weekly meeting with LFMHT six months into his recovery at Penrose. It was jointly agreed that Kit would start self-medication in preparation for a move on to medium support accommodation. 

Kit also registered for LGH housing and bid for independent housing through the system. Success came in 2020 when he was offered an independent flat in the community, which he gladly accepted. In accordance with Penrose policy, Kit received a further twelve weeks of follow-up support from staff, to help him settle into independent living.

With a holistic approach, Focus staff, empowered Kit to achieve his goals of becoming a productive individual with a sense of self-worth as he continues to live independently in the community.

Focus is very proud of Kit’s achievement as a model client. He continues to thrive independently and still serves as a peer mentor to some of the Focus residents who look up to him as a ‘big brother’ and visit him regularly in his flat.

*Kit’s real name has been changed to protect his identity.