Mobilising a mental health service - FitzRoy

Mobilising a mental health service

Author: FitzRoy
Published: May 21, 2024

How do we ensure that ten people with complex mental health needs moving in to a new service of supported living goes smoothly? In March we opened our 6th mental health service, working in partnership with Nottingham City Council and wider professionals including community mental health teams and social workers.

Our assessment process is carried out by the Service Manager with support from our Mental Health Lead, through meeting each individual tenant and in consultation with their wider teams. Through understanding their background, behaviours, clinical diagnosism, and personal objectives we review the package of support required and determine whether this is the right service for them.

Compatibility is hugely important – even if everyone is living in their own self-contained flat, we want to build a community of respect, friendship, and peer-support. We assess the general fit of potential tenants and discuss with each of them their preferred choice of location within the block.

Viewing the flats for the first time is an incredibly positive experience for tenants. Working with the developer and Registered Provider, we had one flat ready for viewing so people could see the reality of their new home, which is an important part of the process. It helps to focus people on maintaining their health and behaviour plan to ensure they are ready to move in as planned.

Tenants are supported through a transitional period, during which they can get to know the staff, receive help with their tenancy paperwork, and co-produce their support plan. We use the CHIME framework for personal recovery: Connectedness, Hope, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment. Working with each individual we identify the outcomes they want to achieve and a progression plan.

Getting to know everyone before move-in also makes a difference, especially as many people have had past traumatic experiences. For example, one person found herself in crisis before she moved in, but she’d built such a good relationship with the deputy manager that she called him for help. We supported her to deal with the police and social workers and made sure she was found a room so she was safe and didn’t have to spend the night on the street.

Another person we support found herself on the verge of returning to some unhelpful coping habits. However, even though she’d only moved in two weeks ago, she already trusted the staff enough to call them up to her flat to support her. The staff member found out what was going on, sat and talked with her, and helped her come up with a plan to avoid the usual destructive spiral. The individual was also able to reflect on her reaction herself the following day, which was hugely positive.

Through a phased approach, we move two tenants in each week to ensure that everyone has the right level of support and we can move to a steady state within the service.

We’re really looking forward to having all the tenants settled in and seeing them make progress as we support them towards a much brighter future.

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