Throughout his childhood, John Jewitt suffered abuse which has significantly impacted on his mental health and wellbeing. He suffered severe and significant trauma, which has continued into his adult life, and he now suffers from PTSD and depression with low self-esteem and confidence.
John, who has been a Karbon customer since 2018, first started working with one of our Foundations for Life Wellbeing Coaches, Lorraine Alexander, earlier this year.
John was referred to the team after one of our housing officers recognised he was struggling and only managing day to day. John said: “I just felt I was going round in circles and felt let down by the services I relied upon.”
Like all foundations and wellbeing coaches at Karbon, Lorraine’s aim is to support and empower customers to help them reach their potential. She works with customers on a one-to-one basis, helping them to identify their goals by understanding and overcoming the complex barriers in their way.
To improve John’s mental health and wellbeing, Lorraine sent him links to wellbeing apps and organisations, such as MIND, Crisis and Samaritans. She encouraged him to make the most of the support that was available in his local community and worked with him around his emotional resilience, confidence and self-esteem.
Through Lorraine’s encouragement, John signed up to a virtual college course in food hygiene, after expressing an interest in catering. He also joined his local library where he not only used accessed books and computer facilities but found a social outlet and a means of discovering activities and groups within his area.
Lorraine also encouraged John to pursue his talent for photography and producing videos, from which John created this case study and shared his story.
John said: “During the recent lockdown, I had contemplated taking my own life as a solution to a temporary problem. This is when I was referred to Lorraine in the Foundations for Life team.
“Lorraine understands that not everything I see is through a coloured lens, in my case, it’s black and white. Opening up to services has been a big problem for me but I feel I can open up to Lorraine and I trust her.
“I still have a long way to go and I am in a much better place again and I am going to keep working with Lorraine and the rest of the team. If you know someone with depression, try to understand them and not judge them.”
Lorraine, who is part the L!NKCD project, said: “Like many others, the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown has had a major impact on John’s mental health and wellbeing. Not being able to see his grandchildren has left him feeling isolated, and the restrictions placed on services that he relied upon has been detrimental.
“As a wellbeing coach, we actively encourage customers, like John, to make the most of the support that is available within the local community, to help them gain new skills and qualifications and encourage them to find jobs and training opportunities and re-build their confidence.
“John is now in a much stronger position to move forward and I’m looking forward to continuing to support him and see how he progresses and moves on with his life over the next few months.”
The L!NKCD project is part-funded by the European Social Fund as part of the England 2014 to 2020 European Structural Investment Funds Programme.