A Thank You To SSJ

I would like to express my thanks for the amazing help and input I’ve had from The Floating Support Service at the Society of St James and in particular Colin Howell and colleagues since January this year.  I’m doing a Masters degree in Clinical and Developmental Neuropsychology and without help from SSJ I would have been forced to quit my degree course.   I have a complex social history and several rare chronic physical health conditions, including a rare connective tissue disorder called hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome..  I was also late-diagnosed a year and a half ago with Autism Spectrum Condition (after realising I could be autistic when I attended the autism lectures on my MSc course!).  I also suspect I have undiagnosed ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia. 

I’ve been misdiagnosed in the past with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (even though I don’t and never have met the diagnostic criteria) and I’ve slipped through the safety net of so many NHS Services, Charities, and mainstream services.  When you have very complex difficulties most services just refuse to help, turn you away, signposting you to other services which also turn you away.   SSJ understands the fallacy of the Human Condition and how layers of difficulties can pile on top of you to the point where even the stronger of people can no longer cope. 

I self-referred to SSJ in January after a 6 month search for new rental accommodation. I had received two Section 21 Eviction Notices from my previous landlady who needed to sell my previous flat.  As a student, on long-term disability benefits, who wasn’t at that stage in any kind of employment with two cats (my best friends as well as my emotional support animals), I just couldn’t find a landlord or even a letting agent prepared to rent a flat to me.  All the stress of the threat of legal action, Court  and potential homelessness  made me physically and emotionally very unwell (and even in December 2023 I still haven’t fully recovered from moving flats back in February!)

In some aspects of my life I am really thriving and achieving amazing things.  But I still get very overwhelmed and find things like making phone calls and speaking with Energy Providers and Service Providers something I avoid because I find it too difficult.   Colin has been incredibly helpful and is exceptionally skilled in his telephone manner.  He’s helped me resolve all sorts of matters which have been too overwhelming for me.  And has been very approachable when I’ve needed some extra support.  Colin has been so supportive and patient with me.  I have just been discharged from SSJ’s Caseload but I strongly believe in karma and I hope one day I might help SSJ in the future in some way – perhaps coming in and giving training courses (about neurodiversity) or even helping write Grant Applications which is something I seem to have a knack for!