Homelessness, mental health & wellbeing guide

Introduction & policy 01

Introduction and policy context

The purpose of this guide is to support homelessness services work successfully with people who present with various mental health and wellbeing needs. We hope to give staff and managers the confidence to provide the personalised and dynamic support that clients often need to live happy and fulfilled lives.

With ongoing major reform of national health policy, we look at how changes will impact on mental health and public health services. We also look at mental health strategy, and how organisations can ensure the needs of homeless people are met locally.

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PDF download    Download the Complete Guide - Sections 1-5

Understanding 02

Understanding homelessness, mental health and well-being

What is mental health and wellbeing? What are the key statistics for homelessness and mental health?

We also outline the most common diagnoses among homeless people, as well as reviewing the most common treatment options. This section also looks at street homelessness and mental capacity.

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Support 03

How to support homeless people with mental health and wellbeing issues

How can you support individuals in your service by ensuring the development of an effective assessment process?

You'll also find tools to help you develop the right support pathways for individuals, either via external referrals or by offering in-house solutions.

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Internal responses 04

Developing internal responses

Responding to mental health and wellbeing needs effectively can mean changing your approach and developing new models to support people with complex needs. We look at how the development of a psychologically informed environment can present you with practical ways to help clients improve their mental health and wellbeing.

We also look at 'Looking after number 1'; reducing stigma and raising awareness; improving wellbeing through client involvement, exercise and sport, engaging in the arts, nature, nutrition and social networks.

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External partners 05

Alt text to go here Working effectively with external partners

External partnerships, including mental health teams, GPs, nurses and psychologists and voluntary sector are vital in responding effectively to clients' needs. We offer tips on working with statutory services, building a case for supporting individuals and an example protocol for working with external agencies.

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John O'Neil, the Training Manager specialising in homelessness and mental health, from the Outreach team at SLaM NHS Foundation has overseen the production of this document and offered invaluable expertise.

The City Bridge Trust

Supported by The City Bridge Trust.