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Stop It Now! helpline call example: Diana
Diana, an outreach worker for a community mental health team, was supporting Jim, 30. He was recently discharged from the hospital following a drug overdose. Jim had suffered from anxiety and depression since his teens. He had a conviction for indecent assault on his nephew committed ten years ago. He also had a more recent conviction for viewing indecent images of children on the internet.
Jim was no longer under any statutory supervision and Diana suspected that his overdose might be, at least partially, in response to this. Jim said that he continued to struggle with sexual fantasies about children. Diana said that this seemed to link to the wider decline in his mental health.
Jim told her he felt anxious about his deviant sexual fantasies ‘coming back’. He was trying to confine himself to a very narrow daily routine, to try not to trigger these. The mental health professionals involved with Jim were aware of this, but he had not been offered any specific help to address the problem. Diana needed advice about how to respond when Jim talked to her about his worries concerning his sexual thoughts and feelings about children.
During her call with the helpline, Diana discussed with the advisors that:
- Jim seemed to be getting gratification from talking to Diana about his fantasies. He showed no intention to discuss the content and, on this basis, we said that this suggested a genuine motivation to manage his behaviour rather than allowing the problem to escalate
- Jim should be supported to plan his daily activities to minimise his unstructured time
- She should look for unexpected or unexplained changes in Jim’s mood or lifestyle. These might signal a rise of risk and would need to be addressed directly
- Jim should be encouraged to call the helpline
- Her senior colleagues were kept informed of any developments
- There are some organisations that could provide training and support for mental health workers in the area.
Actions taken from the call:
After talking with Diana, Jim called the helpline.
He agreed to waive his anonymity in order to get the help he needed as he wanted to be monitored. Following a face-to-face meeting with a Lucy Faithfull Foundation practitioner, he was given the following advice and agreed actions:
- Jim needed to work out how and why his sexual fantasies about children and how they had become part of his arousal pattern. He put into practice the techniques given to manage these.
- He identified some individuals to form a support network, including an old friend and Diana. These individuals would call the helpline for guidance.
- Jim agreed to a ‘personal safety plan’ with this support network, included in which was that they would act on any child protection concerns that might arise.
The outcome of Diana’s helpline call:
Diana called the helpline following Jim’s face-to-face meeting with a Lucy Faithfull Foundation practitioner to discuss and agree on the role of the support network. They would continue to use the helpline should they need to.