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Housing quality ‘significantly affects’ mental health outcomes

The Mental Health Network has published a briefing outlining the benefits of appropriate supported housing as a mental health intervention.

The paper, “Innovation in housing, care and support,” outlines the potential to deliver savings as well as improved outcomes through partnership working with NHS services, CCGs and local government.

It also highlights the role that good-quality housing has in the recovery pathway of those with a severe mental illness, stating that housing problems can exacerbate mental health conditions, whilst a healthy living environment can significantly improve outcomes.

The briefing, produced in partnership with NHS trusts and housing groups, contains four case studies on “innovative support and care services delivered through collaborations between housing and healthcare providers.”

It claims that housing providers are able to deliver mental health interventions at significantly lower costs to NHS and social care budgets.

Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, explained how appropriate housing can benefit individuals: “Supported housing has given people living with complex mental health issues the chance to live independently in non-clinical environments while managing their own conditions.

“We know that housing solutions also benefit the health system, freeing up expensive inpatient beds, reducing re-admissions and providing much-needed preventative support before tenants reach crisis.

“Our members have been very clear on the benefits of housing as a mental health intervention and have been able to demonstrate successful outcomes through a variety of different models.”

He noted that it is “very encouraging” to see solutions being developed through cross-sector partnerships between health and housing providers.

Chris Hampson, chief executive of housing provider Look Ahead and a Mental Health Network member, added: “We have long recognised the potential of supported housing to deliver improved outcomes for people living with mental illness.”

He said that housing providers are in an “excellent position” to have a great impact through partnerships with local government and health services.

“Recent years have seen an encouraging increase in engagement between housing and healthcare providers,” continued Hampson.

“This briefing gives some examples of the excellent outcomes made possible through cross-sector collaboration.”

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