Having quit two consecutive jobs I was unemployed. With psychotic depression I lacked insight that I was poorly. DWP welfare benefits came as a surprise therefore, because I'd incorrectly accepted that my last resignation meant no benefits for six months, because I brought joblessness on myself.
NHS CPN services do not necessarily cover private patients. Despite that I had its support later on. I had however moved to a different NHS Trust, and later still I had an NHS psychiatrist as well.
There was a hospital in my mum's region called Winwick. It was a gigantic, self-contained, mental asylum. It offered a farm, kitchens, recreation areas, laundrette, carpentry shop and everything you might think of. Such places were quite common in the earlier part of the 20th century, and somewhat before. The development of Chlorpromazine in 1950 (a neuroleptic) and the psychotropic drugs that followed, such as tri cyclic antidepressants, SSRIs and atypical anti-psychotics, etc., meant that most asylums were closed in favour of "Care in the Community." Of course neither approaches are perfect.
Winwick hospital was demolished around the turn of the millennium. Its iconic tower still stand amidst an estate of quite desirable homes.
In 1992 - 1993, without my mother I would have been isolated. She helped further by contacting the Social Therapy / Outreach department of Winwick Hospital.
A man called Jack followed up her call and rang me. Apart from me learning the piano, it was the first step in a monumentally long journey to recovery, or put simply, to the beginning of my life.
Thirty years on, I can still remember the room I was in when I took that call. I remember what we talked about. Jack said by far the most. I remember the tone and manner of how Jack spoke. Jack was definately one in a million. My late father would have described him as 22 carat.
The group mostly stayed in, but we did some local ten pin bowling and occasional fishing alley, etc. There was a music room with a piano. That was fun sometimes.
The social therapy department was good, people were nice, we had some laughs. However, since moving on from it, I've had much more recent contact with similar organisations, and I feel that you may not be encouraged to leave. It would be tricky to suggest to a vulnerable person that they should take a risk. It may be seen in the wrong way all together: bullying even. It could be embraced but not work. Ironically, there is a danger in the safety of the status quo.
I know of an organisation which is more aimed at skills acquisition. They hope to put people back into work. Many who attend it are not primarily mentally ill, but often are or have recovered somewhat. The skills tend to be practical rather that intellectually challenging, but it's an alternative and an option. For one, the preparation of food, and café running might be attempted. Things like foundational maths are popular also.