Improving Lives

Supporting vulnerable clients

Concerns for mental health

Beryl* is a widow and, as a result of suffering with severe schizophrenia, had cut herself off from her family believing they were conspiring against her.

Beryl owns her own home but has been moved to a mental health facility and will not be able to return to her home due to the severity of her illness. Beryl can be aggressive and violent and her medication is not stable so her mood can vary dramatically from day to day.

Helping when others won't

While others had dismissed her as a lost cause, the ACS caseworker appointed as her attorney worked with Beryl to build a trusting relationship. Central to this was our understanding that, for Beryl, her concerns were real. We were able to take Beryl back to her house to collect her personal possessions and give her closure so that the property could be sold to settle her debts. Keeping the vacant property was costing Beryl money so it was both in her and the local community’s best interests to sell it.

Beryl’s family were not only worried about her, but upset and frustrated with the situation. We successfully mediated between Beryl and her family. The family were concerned that Beryl would simply dispose of the possessions in her home without consulting them but we gained Beryl’s agreement to allow the family into the house to get any important items. The caseworker has not only brought comfort to Beryl but also to her family, knowing that Beryl has someone she can trust.

*All names have been changed

On to the next case study