Rose* is a 42-year-old woman who has an intellectual disability and suffers from extreme heightened anxiety episodes. Rose lives independently, has a boyfriend and loves all animals, especially horses and dogs. Rose also loves Home and Away, her family and going on holidays.

* client’s name changed to protect their privacy

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Rose can find life tough, as she experiences depression and anxiety. She has historically gone through frequent periods of depression during which she can become very distraught and angry. This is triggered by her thoughts creating an almost alternative reality to the situation and envisaging the worst possible outcomes and some of these episodes have seen her hospitalised. The more Rose will dialogue about something that has upset her the more it evolves into heightened anxiety and creates extreme distress for her.

Support Worker Kelly Hewitt has made a significant contribution to the quality of Rose’s life and this can be evidenced over the last seven months that Kelly has been working alongside Rose. During this time, Rose’s episodes have reduced significantly making life much more enjoyable and fulfilling for her.

Kelly has a natural ability to aid Rose to be able to talk through her distress without creating an imagined reality. She remains positive and can help her to find a solution rather than focus on the negative.

An example of this is that recently Kelly arrived at Rose’s house to find her in tears crying uncontrollably. Kelly gently asked her what was making her cry and by allowing Rose to openly talk about what was causing this distress and by really listening to, and showing consideration for Rose’s emotions she was able to help calm her down as Rose felt she was being heard and validated.

Kelly then suggested that to help her find a solution to the situation they could together go and see Rose’s service co-ordinator to discuss the situation. Kelly explained to Rose that by doing this they could report the issue so that something could be done to prevent it occurring again. This action helped to alleviate Rose’s very real distress as she was now focused on the solution.

In the past Rose’s heightened anxiety and extreme distress over situations like this that she felt no control over could have seen her escalate enough to require hospital admission. Because of the simple yet effective actions that Kelly took, Rose was able to let the situation go enough to change her focus and look forward to the rest of the day’s activities. In the past, these episodes could have created a depressed state of mind for days on end.

Kelly has introduced Rose to new ideas, places, people and experiences. These are all helping to keep Rose active and engaged with her local community which in turn has lessened her periods of depression and episodes of anxiety.
Rose has stated that “Kelly has been able to boost my spirits like no other person. She helps me like no others. She has done this by getting to know me and getting me to try new places and things to do. Her energy is infectious and sunny. She is a great listener and she is good at getting me to open up so that I don’t stew on things”.

Rose also said “altogether I am glad that Kelly has become a very special part of my life. Kelly is a special support worker to me and always will be”

Rose nominated Kelly for the Support Worker of the Year Award in 2018.

Click to read Kelly’s Profile

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