Supported Housing: A Success Story

21/05/2020

Beth (not her real name) has a diagnosis of unspecified nonorganic psychosis. She joined a Rethink Mental Illness Supported Housing service for support in feeling more independent in her finances and work. Here’s one of our frontline Supported Housing workers explaining the journey she went on whilst at the service.

When Beth first came to the service, she had been living in supported accommodation with a higher level of support. Her parents were also very involved and during her first meeting with us, both her support worker from her previous accommodation and her parents attended. Beth hardly spoke. It appeared that she was very used to letting other people take the lead and do things for her.

During her time at our service, we have had conversations with her parents and convinced them that they can step back a little and let us support Beth when she needs it. Gradually she has taken on more tasks for herself, including paying her bills which was previously handled by her parents.

  • Beth now lives independently in a one bedroom flat, she manages her finances independently and doesn’t require any support with her budgeting.

Beth identified a number of goals which we supported her with, such as college courses and voluntary work, which she managed successfully, further adding to her confidence.

After some time, she suggested to the service manager that staff met with her parents to explain the move on process. Her parents were becoming increasingly involved as the prospect of moving on got closer and she wanted us to reassure her parents again, that they needn’t be quite so protective.

Beth now lives independently in a one bedroom flat, she manages her finances independently and doesn’t require any support with her budgeting. She is in education and also volunteers in a local café, where she is working towards getting further training in order to use those skills in paid employment in the future.

Previously when she did try to speak, Beth often found it difficult to find the words and “get them out”, now she talks freely and confidently, she’s resilient and able to voice her wishes and opinions.

Beth’s story is proof that a community-based model of supported housing helps people to manage their mental illness by giving them the tools to live and work independently. It is further evidence that we need to create communities that care for people severely affected by mental illness.

Join us. Have a look at these five ways in which you can help to create communities that care for people severely affected by mental illness.

Beth is a pseudonym. Although the story is real, she preferred to remain anonymous.

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