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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Mental Health and Housing - Short Guide

This short guide is the latest in a series of papers exploring the connection between housing and health. They are designed to pull together the available evidence and demonstrate how housing can be a key part of new models of care.

The Mental Health and Housing - Short Guide addresses the role that housing and support plays in supporting people in their recovery. It focuses on the specific role that housing associations can play as developers, asset managers, care providers and deliverers of education and training and employment schemes.

The short guide recommends how integration can happen; that will be of benefit to housing providers and NHS providers, and their commissioners. It highlights the need to establish a pathway approach to recovery, where the two parties have a common language and provide services that work collaboratively with the person’s interests. It addresses the need to develop different skills and a different understanding of risk together with new approaches to relationship building. The short guide also publishes for the first time, new economic analysis from LSE about the potential cost savings to a reformed care pathway. This analysis will be published separately in June 2016.

With the publication of several reports early in 2016  promoting the importance of housing (Mental Health Strategy for England and its focussing document, Closing the Gap; the FYFV for Mental Health and the Crisp Report), there is a real opportunity to deliver levels of integration that have often been discussed but have been patchily implemented on the ground.

The challenge will now be to develop and promote a compelling narrative, supported by evidence, with commissioners and healthcare providers, in a way that encourages the new models of care that are emerging from the Vanguards to innovate and plan for the long term, to recognise the strengths of different professional groups and to create more integrated pathways to recovery. This will involve moving beyond both institutional and professional boundaries but it is the only way to achieve the vision set out in the Five Year Forward View.

A fuller report, including case studies, economic analysis and greater detail about how housing can be fully integrated into the Acute Care Pathway for Mental Health, will be available in June.

Published: June 2016

To access the report please click here.