The City Bridge Trust funded Homeless Link to build on the work of 2010/11 with a focus on the new mental health commissioning structures in London. The on-going health reforms could have a major impact upon homelessness mental health services. Our recent health audit showed that over 70% of clients living in or accessing homelessness services experience mental distress and only 10% reported to be receiving sufficient support. It is therefore important that services are up to speed about how to ensure the needs of their clients are understood and met by local mental health services.
We worked with six projects in London to support them to engage with and influence relevant bodies responsible for mental health commissioning and service delivery to ensure the needs of homeless people are heard within the new structures. The work fed into the City Bridge Trust's overall aim of Improving London’s mental health, with a specific focus on homelessness. Building on our findings from the last two years worked with projects to:
• Support homelessness agencies to understand mental health provision
• Improve access to mental health services and resources for homeless people
As a result of this work we have developed a range of resources fact sheets, tools, and templates to assist homelessness servives to engage with and influence their local health structures, in London and across England. See our Health Influencing page for details and downloads.
Homeless Link has worked with a number of services in London to improve mental health services for homeless people. The two main areas we worked around were improving access to statutory services and promoting wellbeing. We also produced several documents and resources throughout this project. The resources are available to download below:
Another useful resource is Mental Health Service Interventions for Rough Sleepers: Tools and Guidance produced by Lambeth Council in partnership with South London and Maudsley
NHS Foundation Trust, Thames Reach and the Greater London Authority. A central feature of this guidance is how the Mental Capacity Act can be used to assess the mental state of someone making decisions involving sleeping on the street.
For more information about London Health structures and how to influence them, see our London Health Influencing page.
Supported by The City Bridge Trust