Mental health services to be delivered by homelessness charity

  • Porchlight have been commissioned to deliver an innovative service for people with mental health needs.

    The Primary Care Community Link Worker Service, has been commissioned by Kent Clinical Commissioning Groups and Kent County Council and will work alongside GP Practises across the county to support people who find themselves experiencing social isolation and exclusion, reports 24dash. Self Portrait 2

    Trained professionals from the charity will help people become involved in sports, education, visual and performing arts and find safe accommodation and volunteering opportunities.

    The charity has already successfully run a pilot scheme in Thanet since 2009, which has proven to reduce pressure on local GP surgeries and over the last year the service supported 240 people. It has also allowed Porchlight to employ 16 full-time members of staff.

    Chris Coffey, head of community and youth services at the charity said: "We are delighted to be able to roll this service out across Kent. Everyone who experiences mental health issues has the right to engage in mainstream activities, in ordinary settings, alongside other members of society. Our aim is to reduce isolation, promote recovery, build confidence and reduce the number of repeat visits to GPs.

    "This initiative is part of a range of community services provided by Porchlight to help address issues that may appear to be separate from homelessness but without intervention could lead to individuals losing their housing." 

    Sue Scamell,  Commissioning Manager Mental Health for Kent County Council said: "I am delighted that we are able to provide this service across Kent and it is an excellent example of partnership working between CCGs, Public Health and Adult Social Care."

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