Donna’s Story


Donna, like many young people, was beyond excited to move out of her family home and have her own place for the first time. The move to independent living often plays such an important role in a young person’s life, providing opportunities for growth and self-discovery.  But for Donna this experience was marred by the impact of untreated mental illness. Donna had been struggling to live independently for six months when she was referred to hyh by her concerned mum.



Isolated and withdrawn


At this point Donna’s mental health was in a very fragile condition. She had been admitted to hospital several times for self-harming. Donna’s mum approached us because whilst she wanted to respect Donna’s desire to live independently, she felt seriously concerned about her daughter’s current ability to look after herself.

Donna’s experience of mental illness made it difficult to engage in the basic life skills many of us take for granted.  Donna was struggling to keep on top of her finances and maintain her home. 

This is where we stepped in to advocate on Donna’s behalf. We wanted to make sure she was getting the support she needed to stay in her home during this difficult time.  



Advocating on Donna’s behalf


We contacted the Job Centre to get Donna a disability coach who could support her Universal Credit claim. We could also see that Donna was paying too much Council Tax, so we challenged this to save Donna some more money. 

We supported Donna in speaking to her employer about making her workplace more accommodating. We requested to see their Disability Policy and used this to evidence the ways they had been discriminating against her. We helped agree reasonable adjustments for Donna. 

We wanted to help Donna live her life independently and support her to reach her full potential. So, we worked with Donna’s mental health workers who adjusted her medication until they found the right combination.



A Christmas gift


At Christmas, Donna received a lovely box of gifts donated by one of our amazing supporters. Donna was so overwhelmed by this gift that she was moved to tears. 

Housing and mental health are often linked, but with the right support Donna has drastically improved her quality of life. We are so happy to see these positive changes in Donna and wish her all the best for the future.




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people like Donna