Providing supported housing for adults discharged from mental health services in the north east of England.
Tyne Housing is a specialist housing association which works with vulnerable people across five local authorities, as well as some specialist services in collaboration with the NHS.
Many of Tyne Housing’s residents have experienced trauma in their lives, leading to multiple disadvantages including homelessness, substance misuse and poor mental wellbeing. Often, they have been excluded from other housing options.
Tyne Housing have developed several housing and community support schemes, underpinned by their person-centred model of working, which empowers residents to receive support and build upon their strengths.
The Westbridge mental health resettlement service was founded in 2002, in collaboration with Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. The service provides supported housing with specialist residential and clinical support for adults who have been discharged from secure mental health hospitals, or prison, with the aim to help integration back into the community.
Westbridge has 14 homes for 12 full-time residents and two in-reach beds for gradual integration. The service is staffed 24/7 by a team of specialist support workers and the co-located community mental health team. In collaboration with staff, residents create a specialised support plan to provide safety, stability and progression planning – all to help them with their eventual discharge.
The scheme has been very successful; 83% of residents achieve positive moves into community based housing. When compared to residents remaining in secure mental health units, Westbridge creates opportunity cost savings of £1.13 million per year.
Beyond the financial benefits, there is also the invaluable human impact. One resident has been undertaking a peer mentoring course, as they seek to achieve their long-term goal of becoming a community mentor.
Paul* said: “Being at Westbridge has given me so much confidence and independence that I just never thought I would have and I can’t thank them enough for that.”
Many housing associations are working in partnership with healthcare providers and we believe that every decision about care should be a decision about housing.