Permanent Housing with Mental Health Supports is Key To Quality Of Life
Housing is a fundamental human right and permanent housing with supports is essential for many people living with mental illness. Coast Mental Health provides services across a wide spectrum of the housing continuum, from connecting people who experience episodic and frequent homelessness to providing homes to those who can live more independently. Our goal is to provide as many clients as possible with permanent housing with mental health supports as this offers them long term solutions as they integrate into a community. When housed permanently, clients feel secure and stable, which is vital for their recovery.
Our support services help clients develop independent living skills. Staff work closely with clients on goal planning and connect them with community resources. Volunteer opportunities and employment training are available as is assistance with education.
Coast Mental Health support services use the psychosocial rehabilitation (PSR) model. Its aim is to enable people to live full lives as independently as possible. PSR teaches emotional, cognitive, and social skills that help people live and work in their communities. It takes a holistic approach and places the person—not their illness—at the centre of the services provided.
Housing with Supports
We recognize there is no one size fits all model that will serve the needs of everyone. The level of support required is largely determined by the severity of a client’s illness. Several of our sites offer 24/7 support with on site staff working closely with residents to promote their own recovery. Our experience confirms that housing with supports allows people to experience a sustainable recovery that can eventually lead to more independent living.
With permanent housing and supports, residents are better able to focus on their recovery and enjoy a better quality of life. There is a decrease in the day-to-day chaos caused by homelessness, substance use, and mental illness. Residents can make better life choices and they are more likely to deal with health issues.
Research confirms that supportive housing residents have better outcomes than those housed in temporary accommodation such as shelters. Data from surveys, ministry records, and interviews suggest these residents experience improved health, housing stability, social connections, connections to supports, access to income, a sense of safety, and fewer interactions with the justice system.
Learn how permanent housing has made a difference in Basil’s life
Basil, who is bipolar and a recovering alcoholic, has lived in this enhanced supportive housing site since it opened nine years ago…
Permanent housing with supports is also an economic driver for communities, providing opportunities for primary and enhanced healthcare services and treatment programs. In emergency situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the essential services we provide to tenants have been instrumental in safeguarding communities. People with complex mental illnesses living without these vital supports often become overrepresented in the criminal justice system and fall through the cracks of our healthcare systems. Supporting people with mental health to live with dignity is instrumental in keeping our communities safe for everyone.
For the important reasons above, we ask government to consider the social and economic value of investing in permanent housing for people living with mental health challenges.
With your support, we can do more. Say #yesinmybackyard and help #fundmentalhealth.
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