"What can I do for you today?"
20 years ago Helen was a hairdresser, a good one.
She loved listening and talking to her clients, and it’s no surprise she built long term relationships based through this verbal connection. As Helen speaks it becomes clear that she had an important role in the psychological landscape of her clients. She made them feel at ease.
That’s how Helen first came into contact with SAMH and the people we support. Near Helen’s salon was a SAMH service for older people, who came to her for hair appointments.
Over a shampoo, set and a blow dry Helen became inspired by their stories, she would sit with them and listen to their life stories and she immediately wanted to help them, to do more.
So she trained as an auxiliary nurse and in her spare time worked in a local psychiatric hospital. When a job came up with SAMH, she applied and for the last 20 years she’s dedicated her life to using her skills in helping others. It’s a decision she’s never regretted.
"No matter what is happening, I get so much pleasure from seeing what we’re achieving for the people we help. For some, we are the only form of contact with the outside world. A person can rely on us to voice their concerns and we will do what we can to make sure they lead a fulfilled life."
Helen is part of a small, flexible and dedicated team in the Moray Rehabilitation Service. The service is well connected to other health care professionals and for the individuals they support, there’s the reassurance that support is there 24 hours a day with early signposting through to other services, should a problem arise.
I get so much pleasure from seeing what we’re achieving for the people we help.
The Moray service is an important one. People have somewhere to go.
And the importance of this couldn’t be better illustrated than by the story Helen shared with us.
"We had one young lady who illustrates perfectly what impact we can have. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, she led a chaotic lifestyle. There was no quality to her life. It was marked by self-neglect and ill-treatment from a young age. The community around had been harsh and cruel to her and her ill health led to long periods in and out of wards. Then we became aware of her and sought to help her."
"The transformation was dramatic. She became engaged, she put on weight due to a healthier diet, she bought new clothes and she went to concerts."
"We all take a genuine interest in the people we work with. They have our undivided attention. Just like when I was a hairdresser, it’s about listening and letting someone tell you whatever they want. I am so happy when I see the difference we have made to the lives of people we have supported."
Through community mental health team.
Service: Moray Services (Moray Rehabilitation Service, Jamieson Place Care at Home, North College Street and Moray Outreach Service.)
Moray Outreach Service provides housing support and outreach to service users in their own homes to help them to develop, regain and maintain independent living skills. Moray Rehabilitation Service, Jamieson Place Care at Home and North College Street provide 24 hour intensive rehabilitation in supported accommodation.