Human Growth and Development

Scenario: Simon Whitaker is 42 years old and has suffered from mental illness since his late teens. He lives in a flat in a large housing estate. He lost his job as a warehouse cleaner after he was admitted to hospital the last time he became ill, two years ago. He now claims benefit. Although his one-bedroom flat is small, he does try to keep it clean. He has few personal possessions. He is interested in nature and animals and from time to time he displays pictures of these from his National Geographic magazine. Simon did well at school, but he became very anxious and nervous when doing his Leaving Certificate. He was encouraged to take a year off before starting a degree course in Geography. When he started his course, he found that he had got completely out of the way of studying and could not cope with the pressure associated with it. He dropped out at the end of his first term. Shortly after this, he was admitted to a Psychiatric hospital for the first time. Over the years he has had a number of admissions, once for 18 months and he was diagnosed as schizophrenic in his late twenties. Simon lived briefly in sheltered accommodation but found he could not relate to the other people there. He lived in a group home with 2 other men who were older than him, but this did not work out for the last eleven years he has lived in his flat. He watches little television as it bores him. He does not cook much, and he usually just heats up convenience food. He also buys takeaways – Chinese, Indian but mostly fish and chips. He smokes heavily, drinks a lot of sweet tea and the occasional can of fizzy juice. Simon appears to be coping on his own, but he is isolated and misses his job in the warehouse. His parents are both dead. His brother lives reasonably near and contacts him occasionally, but Simon feels that they have little in common. He is visited by various members of the Psychiatric Support Services every fortnight who give him his medication and offer support. His psychiatric nurse urged him to go to a day centre which he now attends two or three times a week. Last September Simon enrolled in an evening class in the local Community Centre. He went regularly at first, then occasionally and has not been at all for the past couple of months. Guidelines: You will complete an overall assessment of all of Simon’s needs. You will identify how at least two of his needs are being met. You will also identify needs that are not being met. You will detail the interpersonal skills required to meet Simon’s needs and suggest a course of appropriate action to support Simon in all areas of his development. 1. Identify at least 2 of his needs that are being met. (with reference to the text) 2. Identify at least 2 of his needs that are not being met. (with reference to the text) 3. Identify some things Simon could do himself to help his situation (and where he could find this help) 4. Identify some things Simon’s family could do to help his situation (and how this could be achieved) 5. Identify how the local community could help Simon’s situation ie. voluntary community groups, clubs, organisations, evening classes etc. 6. Identify the government services in Ireland that Simon or his family could contact that might help his situation 7. Describe the ‘interpersonal skills’ that you would need if you were the person in charge of helping and talking to Simon 8. Outline your plan of action to help the situation move forward, it needs to specifically for Simon’s benefit Sources= Abraham Maslow, Erik Eriksen, Jean Piaget

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