People sleeping rough to receive hands-on mental health support

People who are sleeping rough in Warwickshire are set to benefit from two mental health specialists who will be joining Warwickshire County Council’s street outreach team, currently provided by P3.

The new roles will be funded for two years as part of funding that was pledged to tackle homelessness in the county in 2018, and the mental health specialists will be seconded from Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust.

Following a multi-agency conference in September 2018 – organised by WCC and attended by many organisations including the police, health services and practitioners who work with people facing homelessness – the decision was made to fund these new positions. The mental health specialists will be working directly with P3, an organisation commissioned by the county council to help tackle homelessness in Warwickshire.

Councillor Les Caborn, WCC Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“It is increasingly vital that we work effectively with our partners to tackle homelessness in the most effective way, meaning that we ensure people who are rough sleeping or facing homelessness receive the support they need quickly.

“We have also found that it is important to tackle the issues that lead to or exacerbate situations where people find themselves without housing, and these secondments to our street outreach team will make it much easier for people who need mental health support to get help quickly.”

Dan Barnard, Lead Psychologist Community Adult Mental Health and Ex-Armed Forces Clinical Lead, at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust said,

“We are excited to be involved in this partnership initiative, which aims to enhance the mental health pathway for people who are homeless in Warwickshire. Often people that are homeless are excluded from many of the interventions that might be able to help them. P3 is already well engaged with many of these people. This partnership will join up our services to maximise knowledge, skills and passion, and make mental health awareness, and action, more accessible.”

Esther Barrett, P3’s Head of Support and Community Services for Warwickshire, stated:

“We’re proud to announce our partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust and Warwickshire County Council. The secondment of two mental health specialists will not only help us provide much needed mental health support for vulnerable people living on the streets within our community, it will also raise our street outreach team’s profile with aligned healthcare professionals.

“Crucially it will enable people who are street homeless to receive the right medical interventions at the right time, as removing barriers is key for some people to engage in healthcare. It also provides the platform for us to continue conversations about innovation and consider other creative solutions to enhance how we support people in need.

“This partnership fits perfectly with P3’s aspiration to make a difference for people who are socially excluded, wherever we work, and means even more people will be able to benefit from our combined expertise and the exchange of knowledge. For P3 Warwickshire it is a perfect fit.”

The secondees will take up their new posts from May 2019.