A unique pilot has been launched in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to support people using NHS mental health services to overcome housing or financial difficulties.
The pilot, which is part of the area’s community mental health transformation programme, led by Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT), sees specialist housing and financial wellbeing advisors integrated into NHS teams to work closely with people who have severe mental illness (SMI).
MPFT is working with Landau, an employment and training charity, to provide access to financial wellbeing advisors and housing officers who provide one-to-one support to eligible service users.
Maryan Davies, an operational lead within MPFT’s community mental health transformation programme today said: “The area’s community mental health transformation programme aims to provide mental health services at a much more local level so that services are reflective of the needs of service users. The pilot with Landau is part of this wider piece of work.
“We know that people’s mental health often declines when wider issues are at play. Locally it has been identified that housing and financial issues are two of the key wider-determinants of health impacting on health and wellbeing of those suffering with SMI.”
Ms Davies added: “Times are tough particularly as the cost of living continues to rise. The Landau pilot provides additional support to people whose mental health condition is being exacerbated by, or founded, in concerns over financial wellbeing and housing issues. Landau staff bring a wealth of expertise and experience which is helping our service users to gain independence, become more financially aware and get appropriate housing support for their personal circumstances. All have a significant impact on a person’s overall health and wellbeing.”
Nicki Ulloa, the NHS programme manager for Landau added: “We are delighted at how quickly Landau staff have integrated with clinicians to bring this much needed early intervention support to those most impacted by the cost of living crisis. The project is proving to be an excellent example of how true collaboration can bring much greater impact for people with severe mental illness.”
Landau is experienced in co-designing and delivering contracts in collaboration with the NHS. In this contract staff are aligned to the community mental health service area teams across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin and are actively working alongside NHS colleagues.
Services provided include inclusive early intervention packages in order to support and enable people to access and sustain housing tenancies, whilst encouraging and facilitating independence. A range of financial wellbeing support, including debt management, budgeting and applications for benefits and practical advice, information and support on a wide range of issues including housing rights, welfare benefits, personal finance and life skills.
People who can access the Landau project are referred into the service via their community mental health team.