Southern Health housing initiative featured on BBC

2 October 2023

Did you catch us on the BBC in September?

Jon Pritchard BBC filmingOur Step Out Pathway was featured on the BBC and used as an example of how addressing social stressors such as housing can have a huge impact on someone’s mental health.

The piece, which was broadcast on 27 September, was covered by award winning social affairs correspondent Alison Holt, and looked at how our Step Out pathway works with local housing providers to support people’s recovery. This included speaking to former patient Hayden, to see how the pathway had supported his recovery, as well as our Associate Director of Housing Jon Pritchard.

The Step Out Project is a selection of independent 1-bed flats spread across the local community which provide a home for people who would have otherwise been ‘stuck’ in a mental health hospital.  This pathway, as the name suggests, allows people to ‘step out’ of the system, to get off the treadmill of repetitive admission and discharge cycles. 

By partnering with a housing provider and a support organisation who undertake the housing management activities the Trust have created a solution that enables people to have their own front door within the community. Having their own safe and secure space to call home has been a fundamental element of the success of the pathway.  The individuals are supported by our Community Rehabilitation Team for an intensive period when they move in to their flat, as part of a planned approach to onward care.

The results speak for themselves – not a single person using the pathway has been readmitted to hospital.

The Step out Pathway is just one of a number of solutions the Trust is working on that look to address social stressors. Other projects include embedding mental health nurses in local authority housing teams to provide support, crisis interventions, input into housing needs assessments and ongoing support with the right complementary services. We also work closely with Citizen Advice whose caseworkers now provide advice and guidance to patients on the ward ahead of discharge as well as after. 

You can watch the coverage below.

Please note: all rights belong to the BBC and used with permission.

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