[Names have been changed to preserve anonymity]
Kirsty had a long history of offending and has been involved in the youth justice system and adult criminal justice system for many years. Although still relatively young she has been in prison on a number of occasions and served two years and nine months on her most recent sentence.
Kirsty was diagnosed as having ADHD at a young age and has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression in adulthood. Due to these medical conditions, Kirsty could be very difficult to engage with and present as very challenging at times. She has practically no family support and the friends she had are either unable or unwilling to help her out in any positive way. Due to this she relied heavily on the support of professionals.
Kirsty was referred to the Shine Mentoring Service by prison through care services. The Shine mentor met with her whilst she was still in prison in order to introduce themselves and the service that was on offer. During this initial meeting she presented as quite aggressive, very defensive and quite demanding.
Despite her confrontational demeanour she agreed to work with the mentor and they agreed on her being collecting from prison when she was to be liberated as she had no other arrangements in place.
In addition to the medical conditions mentioned, Kirsty was a former heroin user and was on a methadone prescription. Because of this she had to attend and maintain regular contact with both her practice GP and Addictions Services. As she has a very short term memory, Kirsty failed to remember appointments and therefore relied on her Shine mentor to keep note of her appointments.
Kirsty struggled with many social situations and became extremely anxious and often paranoid; this more often than not manifested itself as aggression. If she felt she wasn’t being listened to or understood and felt unable to articulate her struggles, she became loud, defensive and her body language became very threatening.
As well as keeping note of her appointments, her Shine mentor also took her to the meetings. This had all been agreed at her request. The addictions nurse who treated Kirsty also requested that her Shine mentor attend with her as she found Kirsty to be very intimidating. The nurse knew that Kirsty's mentor could calm her if she became too animated.
Kirsty is not currently on any statutory orders and continues to work with Shine on a voluntary basis. Most recently she has moved in to permanent accommodation with her partner. Her Shine mentor helped her with the move and the practicalities involved with this. Kirsty is due to meet with a worker from the local Intensive Rehabilitation and Substance Misuse Team to discuss further support for her in order to continue the successful work that has already been done. Her Shine mentor has also met with other professionals in order to put an exit strategy in place for Kirsty.