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“I am  better at managing my panic attacks and anxiety since joined group sessions at Derman”

Client A is a Turkish, 44 years old woman and suffers from anxiety and panic attack. She experienced domestic violence several years ago and had to live in a refuge with her two small children.
One of our advocates found out that she might have benefitted from group works at Derman and referred her for Relaxation and Creativity group. When she came to Derman she was struggling to direct her life and overcome her panic attacks. She registered herself to the group and completed 8 weeks program. She was very quiet and shy during the first couple of sessions. As time passes by, she became more talkative and told that she would like to join other group works as well. Once the group sessions ended, she started Behavioural Activation Group and attended 12 sessions regularly and overcome her social shyness.

“She told us that she was better at managing her panic attacks and anxiety since she started joining group sessions at Derman. She also mentioned us her interest in hand crafts. Therefore, we signposted her to an arts centre, where she is still attending and enjoying the art course.”

 Service User, female / 44


“I feel valued and valuable”

Ms X is a single mother with two children. She had financial difficulties and health problems she could not cope with and as a result she felt depressed. She was referred to Derman’s Mental Health Support and Outreach team.

During the first session we identified her emotional, physical and financial needs and how we could approach them. This was all written on a support plan with her.

Her benefit payments were irregular and this fuelled her anxiety. Her health problems, especially her back pain, made it difficult for her to do her daily chores and look after her children. Because she felt exhausted and distressed, she would get angry very quickly and then she would regret it.

We offered Ms X regular appointments every other week for six months. She was informed about the changes in the benefit system. We explained her how she could claim and handle her benefits. We helped her gain skills so that she was equipped to book her appointments, read her letters and, in short, manage her daily life.

Ms X started to receive physiotherapy sessions. When she realised that she was benefiting from exercising she took up swimming as well.

When she realised how judgemental she was towards herself, she decided to become more tolerant. She started to take control of her life from booking her GP appointments to attending her English classes regularly.

When asked how Derman’s Mental Health Support and Outreach Service contributed to her life, she said: “I feel valued and valuable”

Service User, female


“She said her stress level reduced, their living standard increased, and looking life in a more positive way in general now.”

Ms AA is 56 year old, Turkish living with her grown up daughter who is a university student. They are living in a council flat in Hackney Borough. She is suffering from various long term, chronic illnesses and disabilities. Therefore she can’t do any type of work and lives on state benefits. She receives DLA and ESA to live on. Her ESA stopped after the work capability assessment. Then her Housing Benefit claim affected as well. She and her daughter faced hardship financially while her ESA stopped and she got more depressed.

She contacted us to get help for her ESA claim problem. We advised her to make a mandatory reconsideration of the decision first. She brought some medical evidences from her GP and hospital consultant. We wrote a mandatory reconsideration request letter on behalf of her but Hackney Benefit Centre did not change their original decision. Then we helped her to make an appeal against the decision to the Appeal Tribunal. We gathered some further medical evidences to support her case at the Tribunal hearing.
With our Advice Service’s help and intervention The Tribunal awarded her ESA with work related activity group component for further 2 years. After this successful appeal case we asked all backdated ESA payment and reinstatement of her ESA benefit. She received £1,186.90 backdated ESA and ESA fortnightly payment reinstated as well. As a result of this successful work, “she said her stress level reduced, their living standard increased, and looking life in a more positive way in general now.”

Service User, female / 56