Finn moved to Bright Futures in August 2020 after a 14-month hospitalisation at a local mental health hospital. Finn was sectioned under the Mental Health Act for the purpose of assessment and treatment and received a working diagnosis of Autistic Catatonia. Finn’s mental health had significantly deteriorated and displayed concerning behaviour that placed himself and others at risk. Finn had very low self-esteem and very little confidence, he was unable to make choices and needed lots of support to achieve the activities of daily living. Although the clinical environment was able to keep him safe during periods of challenge, it was evident that a residential provision would better meet his spectrum of needs and Bright Futures was identified to provide the much needed therapeutic and nurturing environment.
During a two-week transition period, Bright Futures staff worked alongside Finn’s clinical team and began to build positive and familiar relationships prior to his move. This was an ideal time for information sharing and the MDT team worked well together to ensure a smooth transition.
During Finn’s time at Bright Futures, a comprehensive MDT have worked together to support the improvement of his mental health, overall wellbeing and his learning and development. Previously, Finn did not attend or engage with any education for over 18 months, and anxieties were evident when school was discussed. This transition back into education has been a big focus, not only for the team around him, but also for Finn. He now enjoys the structure and predictability of the education day and with reduced anxieties he can learn more and thrives in the sociable environment.
Finn has a well-trained team around him that not only have the right training and the right core skills but just as importantly, the right personalities and person-centred approaches. This approach ensures he is comfortable and familiar with his staff and can trust them to support him in the way he needs them to so can achieve and succeed.
Finn has also been supported to ensure his living environment is homely, welcoming, and matches his choices and preferences. Bright Futures staff worked with Finn to design his bedroom during visits at his previous setting. Finn stated he was interested in space and planets, so a space theme was created in his bedroom which Finn continues to add to. During transition visits, Finn was encouraged to choose posters for his new room, designed the layout and helped decorate with familiar and favoured items. Sensory items were bought specifically to meet Finns needs such as large bean bags, comfortable fleecy blankets, and a vast range of sensory fidget toys.
With continued support from Bright Futures’ Specialist Support Team, he is more confident to communicate and working with Speech and Language Therapy he and his team have a greater understanding of his cognitive abilities and functional communication. Working closely with our PBS Lead, we have seen a significant reduction in concerning behaviours. Finn responds well to de-escalation strategies and through the consistent approach from his familiar care and education team, he demonstrates a better ability to self-regulate. Finn’s mental health has improved dramatically, and the requirement for external CAMHS input has decreased.
Finn is a very intelligent young man who now has aspirations and goals for his future. Finn’s physical posture has improved as he stands confidently tall and loves to engage people with a high five or handshake. Finn is flourishing as he is encouraged to make choices and thrives in a less restrictive and more empowering environment.
Finns’ world has been made bigger and he most certainly has a very bright future.