Bright Corner Transforms Fear Into Confidence
Jenna* is a 58-year old woman with a history of substance and alcohol use who began to have delusions that her landlord was entering her apartment at night and rearranging her belongings. Jenna’s mental health providers explained that her fears might be a sign of unresolved trauma and that she could benefit from a change of environment. That’s when Jenna agreed to respite care.
When she first arrived at the S:US Bright Corner Respite for the voluntary two-week stay, Jenna’s clothes and overall appearance were unkempt and disheveled. For the first few days she stayed mostly in her room and was reticent to communicate with S:US peers (staff). As peers began to engage with Jenna using the Intentional Peer Support (IPS) model she gradually began to engage in long conversations with them. During her stay, Jenna started suspecting that someone at the Respite was going into her room at night to rearrange her belongings. Peers explored Jenna’s fears and were able to gently but firmly reassure her of her safety at the Respite. As a result of the support she received, Jenna’s worldview refocused and she was able to confidently move towards fulfilling her life dreams.
It is common for individuals experiencing the type of mental health issues that Jenna presented to spend time in hospital receiving treatments. However, peers used the Supportive Needs Adaptive Plan (SNAP) and Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) plan to explore her current crisis. This enabled Jenna to have a hands-on approach in her own recovery story and avoid hospitalization. In fact, it was remarkable that by the end of her short stay at the Respite Jenna’s self-confidence began to noticeably improve. She began styling her hair and traveling around the city without anxiety. She appeared to be an entirely different person and on her last day she even presented a thank-you card to the peers and gave them all hugs. Jenna shared that spending time at S:US’ Bright Corner Respite provided her a much needed pause to reevaluate her life.
Jenna’s story touches us deeply as it is a reminder that many individuals experiencing a mental health crisis simply need a reprieve from their environment. Given the right setting and support, they are capable of coping with crisis and overcoming their fears.
*This is a pseudonym