One-page profile of a person living with mental health difficulties – Barry

Image of One-page profile of a person living with mental health difficulties – Barry

What others like and admire about me

  • Quiet, unassuming gentleman
  • Very interesting to talk to
  • A great entertainer with his dancing and singing
  • Great conversationalist

What’s important to me

• Family is really important to Barry and he enjoys daily visits from his wife Brenda and daughter Sonia and her husband Simon.
• Barry has a son Graham who unfortunately cannot visit very much as he lives in New Zealand with his family. But enjoys looking at the photographs Brenda brings in.
• Appearance is a massive part of Barry’s life he must look clean and tidy and is always smartly dressed. Barry must choose his own clothes each day.
• Barry enjoys going into the garden and feeding the birds, it is one of his favourite hobbies.
• Being outdoors and feeling the sun or wind on his face.

How best to support me

• Barry responds better to male carers.
• Be aware that if he is feeling frightened or confused Barry can become agitated and distressed – what really helps is chatting to him about Brenda, Sonia and Simon.
• When supporting Barry always tell him what you are about to do and talk to him while supporting his needs.
• If Barry seems distressed inform the nurse to make sure he is not unwell.
• Know that Barry should have a drink nearby at all times – a jug of juice on his bedside table at night works well.

Barry's story

Barry came to live with us on 16 April 2012 from the St Helens Stewart assessment unit. He had been admitted to hospital from another nursing home under section two of the Mental Health Act, after his behaviour became aggressive and they felt unable to support him. Barry had been known on a number of occasions to attack other people he was living with; this was an area of concern for the staff team there. Upon arrival here at Woodlands, Barry was very resistive to support, often becoming aggressive. We knew that Barry had a history of secreting medication or refusing to take it, which led to a fluctuation in his mental state.

When Barry arrived at Woodlands, staff set about getting to know him, his likes and dislikes and his social history. We worked closely with his wife to do this. Staff worked towards building a detailed picture of how Barry communicates his likes and dislikes and his escalation signs, so we were able to notice his mood changes early and help him to stay calm. All of this information was recorded on Barry’s one-page profile. When Barry appeared aggressive, the team used soft de-escalation techniques and nursed him in quiet areas to help him feel safe. We worked closely with Dr Koumuravelli (Psychiatric Consultant) and Janet Parry (Community Psychiatric Nurse) to get his medication balance correct.

Initially Barry continued to behave as he had done before, often refusing to engage with support staff. However, as staff got to know Barry and how best to work with him to reduce his anxiety, we have seen a marked improvement – this was continually recorded on his one-page profile. It was noted by nursing staff that when Barry seemed most unsettled, it appeared to be linked in with a reoccurring urine infection, so we began to regularly test for this.

Barry now engages with support staff and with the correct approach and prompt will shower, shave, meet his care needs and even take part in activities. The one-page profile means that all staff learn how best to support Barry quickly and, importantly, that they see him as an individual with his own qualities, likes and dislikes. While Barry can at times still appear resistant, his happiness and overall demeanour is greatly improved. Barry is an important part of the community here at Woodlands and we continue to work with him and his family to try and improve his quality of life.