Megan* was sexually abused six years ago. She hadn’t told anybody about the sexual abuse until finally finding the courage to speak to a pastoral worker at her school. Megan’s case was investigated and went to court – as a result the person responsible was jailed.
The court process was very stressful for Megan and she felt that she wasn’t offered the support she needed from the court. Megan’s school became increasingly worried that she was keeping her thoughts and feelings to herself and that this might result in mental health issues. Megan was also struggling with ongoing family issues and had started to self-harm. At this point the school made the referral to Nest.
Initially Megan just wanted to talk to somebody about what had happened to her and about the court process in general. After two appointments of this, Megan’s Nest support worker spoke to her about the option of counselling, either from a sexual abuse expert or through a general counsellor. Megan decided that she would like to talk to a general counsellor and her support worker made the referral straight away.
Her key worker also took Megan to speak to a housing worker to find out about her options when she turns 16. Megan has been in foster care in the past and following this had moved in with a relative. There had been issues with her living situation and Megan was worried as a result.
The housing worker discussed all the options with her and advised that he would support her through the process when she turns 16 in a few months. This helped to reassure Megan about her home situation and she now feels she has something to look forward to.
After a few more sessions Megan’s support worker started talking about hobbies and leisure activities as they felt that this would be of both physical and mental benefit. Megan mentioned that she would like to do some boxing as it might be good for releasing anger. Her support worker researched the different options and made some phone calls. Together they made an appointment with the manager of a boxing gym to look at different class options.
Going forward Megan and her key worker will look at education and what Megan wants to do when she finishes school. Megan and her key worker have looked into open days at her local college and will work together to explore her options.
Megan says that she feels that she now has somebody that she feels comfortable to talk to about the things that have happened to her. She likes being able to have informal appointments in McDonalds or local cafes but that she can also look at more formal things, like the counselling. She has told us that she feels safer and stronger and that she is looking forward to making changes in terms of housing and education. We will continue to work with Megan as long as she needs our support.
*We have changed names on all of our case studies to protect identities
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