Using a one-page profile for support with mental health

An example of how the process of producing a one-page profile can help a person to open up and talk about the things that are important to them that previously they may have kept hidden.  Duncan’s team are now much better equipped to support him since learning more about his personal ambitions, values and positive traits.

Duncan's one-page profile

Duncan’s one-page profile

Written by May Lee at Certitude.

Duncan is a 38 year old Jamaican man. He currently lives at Fanon House where he has been for almost a year and a half.  Fanon House is a hostel based in Brixton where we provide support to people with mental health support needs from African and Caribbean backgrounds.

Duncan’s interests include football and socialising. In addition to this he has a passion for music and especially reggae and rap, which he finds relaxing and motivating.   He is a practising Rastafarian and his faith is very important to him.

The purpose of Duncan’s one-page profile was to share information with people who may not work directly with Duncan such as other staff or bank workers so that they would be able to provide Duncan with the best possible support and understand his mental health needs.

In producing his profile, I met with Duncan in the early mornings just before he took his medication. This is when he is most alert and in a conversational mood. To get a good all-round perspective I also spoke to people who know Duncan well – people he lives with and other team members to get their views.

Duncan’s completed one-page profile was used on a daily basis straight away. It became particularly essential for bank staff who were directed to read it and gain a better understanding of who he was and how to approach and speak to him.

Through talking with Duncan about how his one-page profile has benefited him he appears to now have a clearer focus on what he wants to do and where he wants to get to. He would like to get to a stage where he can become fully independent and move on with his life beyond Fanon House. He understands that this will require working with his support team to achieve certain mile stones which he has identified, such as getting into employment. He now seems more prepared to do this. He has also expressed his need to see his daughter who he has not seen for a long-time. Until working on his one-page profile and Duncan opening up to us, we hadn’t known that his daughter existed.

Duncan’s one-page profile has helped us to gain a better understanding of the man that he is  and has enabled us to think more holistically about him than just his mental health support needs. It has helped the way we relate to Duncan, talking about a bigger range of things and in turn the way he sees staff.