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Andrew’s story

After Andrew was convicted of theft and given a prison sentence, he suffered a nervous breakdown and received crisis treatment. Following his release, Andrew was supported by a Together Forensic Mental Health Practitioner and started rebuilding his life and relationships.

"I never managed to get proper help to address my issues. Instead I used extremely self-destructive coping mechanisms. While in reality my life was a complete shambles, on the surface I proudly wore a mask of normality.

I eventually confessed to my employers about the theft and they pressed charges, resulting in a prison sentence. A week before sentencing I suffered a breakdown and was referred to the Mental Health Community Crisis team. I had told no-one about the case, and was still wearing the mask, although the thought of suicide was a constant companion. It was only when I was led to the cells, the reality of my situation sunk in.

“It forced me to focus on myself…”

As torturous as prison was, it removed me from the damaging situation I was in, and forced me to focus on myself, the consequences of what I had done, and how I could put all that right. Paradoxically, I finally felt free. In prison!

I am rebuilding my life. I’ve been on a parenting course to rebuild my relationship with my children.”

I was released from prison on a probation order and given a number of support mechanisms to help me deal with my mental health issues. These included a weekly appointment with a Together Forensic Mental Health Practitioner.

I am rebuilding my life. I’ve taken part in a parenting course to rebuild my relationship with my children, received specialist debt advice and avoided eviction from my home.

I am immensely grateful for the support. I’m learning not to let the problems from my past define my future. Instead, equipped with better coping skills and a solid support network, I know that I would never offend again.”

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