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How a charity is linking with GPs to help those at risk of losing homes | Lynne Wallis

Jan 2nd, 2015 by

A Kent charity is helping people with mental health problems by liaising with their GPs and navigating the benefits system

Former teacher Fiona Hood, 45, has had severe anxiety and depression all her adult life. Five years ago she lost both parents within a short space of time, her partner took his life, and then her work as an English language teacher dried up. Hood’s depression began to envelop her. “I felt increasingly cut off from the world,” she explains. “Paralysed with depression, any routines around sleeping and meals, all the structure in my life had gone.”

Hood, who has a degree in linguistics and psychology, was on and off various medication until late last year, when her GP prescribed something different, – a very powerful antidepressant. It was good news, but the downside was that it was going to take a while for Hood to adjust to the new drug. “I felt confused, fuzzy, all over the place,” she recalled. “I couldn’t even make a meal for myself, and I was certainly in no fit state to make appointments to be anywhere. I’d had a major medicine change, and I couldn’t manage it.”

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