Author: Christopher, 25
About: Christopher shares his experience of finding supported living for young people with learning disabilities, and how he can become more independent.
I am 25 years old and I was born with a learning disability and also suffer with depression and anxiety. At the moment I am living with my mum, but soon I will be moving into my new supported living place.
I am looking forward to it, but at the same time it is scary moving away from where I know my surroundings. But eventually I will get to the goal I want. If you want to be independent in anything you do in life, you can’t rely on your parents all the time. When they are not there, where are you going to go for support and advice? It’s important to have good family and support networks, but they are not always going to be there. So it’s important to be independent too.
Sometimes I feel like people with learning disabilities have been forgotten and left behind by the system and the community.
I am lucky that I have a great support network around me, but others are not as fortunate. This could be young people who are homeless, young people whose youth club has closed down for unforeseen reasons, young people who experience domestic abuse or bullying and don’t know a way out.
Sometimes I feel like people with learning disabilities have been forgotten and left behind by the system and the community. And because councils have been overstretched and stressed, it can be hard to get the right support.
It’s difficult to know where to go to find supported housing, not just for young people with learning disabilities, but for young people struggling with their mental health. And people who live in sheltered housing might not know where they will get the right support package, care and people around them. Who can support them through good times and challenging times?
I found it hard to find the right supported living place, but I have found a place to live with a support package tailored to my wants and needs.
I found it hard to find the right supported living place, but I have found a place to live with a support package tailored to my wants and needs. This includes help with tidying my room, support with cooking and travel training. I’m excited to be able to move into the next chapter of my independent life.
In life you will face obstacles that will try to knock you down, but the ones who say to themselves, ‘I am not going to let this defeat me’ will find a way through. That’s why I really recommend supported housing for young people with learning disabilities or who are struggling with their mental health. It’s good because it will support me to be more independent, but slowly and at my own pace.
For people with learning disabilities it might take longer, but just be patient with us. We will get to where we want to go.
If you are looking for a supported living place, my advice is don’t rush to find supported housing. Take your time and move out when you are ready. For people with learning disabilities it might take longer, but just be patient with us. We will get to where we want to go.
More information and advice
We have tips and advice to help you find the support you need. Take a look at our guides.
Where to get help
However you're feeling, there are people who can help you if you are struggling. Here are some services that can support you.
Provides information about local counselling and advice services for young people aged 11-25.
Put in your location and what you need help with into their 'Find help' search, and see what services are available in your area.
If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.
Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.
Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.
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