Mental Health Awareness Week gives us the opportunity to tell you how we at Care Housing Association (Care) place a high level of importance on supporting our tenants and our staff to achieve and maintain as good a level of mental health as they possibly can. We attempt to do this in a variety of ways.
We believe that our surroundings are very important to our wellbeing and we pride ourselves in providing top quality properties for our tenants to live in, and maintain them to a very high standard.
Our staff team has a good working knowledge of mental health and work alongside specialist providers who support people with enduring mental health issues.
One example of a project we provide housing for is for four people who previously lived in a mental health treatment and recovery facility. Previous attempts to acquire accommodation for this group had proved futile due to perceived risk by housing providers. Care partnered with the support provider and worked alongside them and the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to develop properties to support the needs of the tenants. The facility is now running successfully and support is provided for 15 hours per day plus a sleep-in staff member. Care back this up with skilled housing management. This model of support, with good MDT input, has resulted in significant benefits, including marked mental health recovery, tenant skills improvement, positive community involvement and reduced risk levels.
In 2014, to celebrate its 10-year anniversary, Care introduced the Care Foundation – a grant made available for tenants to apply for to help them meet dreams or aspirations. To enable them to achieve things that bring joy to life. The grant is proving popular and is helping people to do things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do.
Another of our schemes, a new-build block of 9 spacious apartments, offers crucial step-down accommodation for people who aspire to move on from supported housing after a 2-year stay. Local commissioners, support staff and visitors have commented that the quality of the accommodation is very high and desirable. Here are some photos:
Care understand that some of the work we do isn’t easy and our staff need support too. We’re a small team and we make a point of checking in with each other and seeing that we’re ok, particularly when we’re dealing with difficult issues.
At this time of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 we’re in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, we’re working from home and we’re isolated. Care has offered the ‘Calm’ app to all of its employees free of charge. Some of us have taken up this offer and it is proving to be really useful. It builds on some mindfulness and meditation input that we had as a team around a year ago. On top of this we’re catching up as a team at least once a week by video meeting.
Ordinarily, there’s plenty going on at Care to make sure we have a good work-life balance; Care promotes flexible working and has a family-friendly work environment, we have regular socials and an annual staff challenge. Last year the challenge was for the team to run or walk 250Km in 7 days…thankfully adjustments were made to be inclusive of all levels of fitness. We recently joined the cycle to work scheme as well. Though maybe all this is just an attempt to offset the damage done by the ‘chocolate drawer’ that Claire sits next to!