New support scheme to help people with mental health problems in Newcastle
Newcastle council have created a new mental health service which allows residents to keep their independence.
Previously residents with mental health conditions would have their financial decisions taken away from them and a member of staff would become their appointee. Medications would also be tightly controlled and distributed by members of staff.
Newcastle council’s new recovery support team now places emphasis on helping clients become independent. The team works with approximately 70 people with mental health conditions across the city, 27 of whom are in supported residential units. Part of the changes see a new site developed which rather than offering bed space, provides sixteen individual one-bedroom flats, four of which are reserved for patients in crisis and the rest for longer-term residents expected to stay a maximum of two years, reports the Guardian.
These new flats will allow residents to live independently with each space having its own private living and dining space, bathroom and kitchen. Residents will also be responsible for budgeting and paying their own utility bills. They will also be in their own medication for the first time.
“It was much more of an institutional model. People had rooms in a block. Effectively we had a small bank and a pharmacy on site. We decided that was not as recovery-centered as it should be,” explains Sheila Winter, mental health service manager for the council. “Now we provide 24-hour support into the building, but the staff team are actually based elsewhere.”
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