Ryan is in his 50’s and has Schizophrenia; he has been a patient in a Medium Secure Unit for just over a year. Ryan has struggled to build relationships with staff and other patients.

POhWER advocate Angelina approached Ryan on several occasions when she visited the unit but initially he was verbally aggressive and non-engaging. Despite this, Angelina continued to try to build a rapport.

After a couple of months of regular approaches and seeing how Angelina was helping other patients, Ryan felt able to speak to her. Ryan has a strong regional accent and a mumbling style of speech which made it difficult for others to understand him. Angelina took the time to learn his verbal mannerisms.

Ryan told Angelina he had stopped talking to staff as they didn’t understand or listen to him. Because of this he felt that there was little point in asking for leave and it had now been so long since he had been on leave he would have to prove he was able to go out all over again. He told Angelina he felt frustrated and isolated.

Angelina offered to raise his wish to go on leave with the staff team. Ryan enthusiastically accepted, saying he would really like to go shopping as he wanted some new clothes. Angelina spoke to Ryan’s Responsible Clinician who was pleased that Ryan had developed a rapport with Angelina. He agreed to support Ryan’s request to start having leave again.

When Angelina next saw Ryan he was pleased to report that staff had taken him out on ground leave with a view to him starting community leave in the next fortnight. He told her that staff had also been making more effort to communicate with him which pleased him even more.

A couple of months later Ryan was moved to a Low Secure Unit. He has since requested further Advocacy support as he recognised the benefit of advocacy support and how it has empowered him.