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What is supported living for mental health?

Supported living for mental health is an approach designed to help individuals with mental health conditions live more independently in a community setting, whilst receiving the support they need.

Lifeways offers a pathway of services and settings that provide the very best in mental health support across the UK, from longer term supported living and residential services, to specialist recovery services with SIL.

SIL offers specialist mental health support, with a focus on recovery and community-based support for those severely affected by mental illnesses, offering a transition from institutional environments back into their own home within the community. 

Both our SIL specialist support and our mental health supported living services enable those living with mental health conditions to lead fulfilling lives within their local community, whilst giving them access to personalised support.

Supported living provides tailored assistance which aims to help individuals with everything from daily tasks and medication management, to life skills development and community engagement. Where people with mental health conditions struggle to live independently - requiring support services or 24 hour support, residential care might be more appropriate.
Read our blog to find out more.

What is a mental health condition?

The term ‘mental health condition’ covers a range of disorders that can affect a person’s mood, thinking and behaviour. Some examples of mental health conditions include depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Mental health conditions vary widely in their severity and how they are displayed by a person, and can affect someone’s ability to cope with daily living. 

What causes mental health conditions?

It is often hard to find the exact cause of a mental health condition. Often, they can be caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors which could include:

  • trauma or abuse in early childhood or later life
  • conditions such as learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities and people with acquired brain injuries.
  • chemical imbalances in the brain, which are often genetic
  • substance abuse
  • low self-esteem, feelings of loneliness, or isolation
  • changes to a person's life, for example, a death or divorce

However, it’s also important to note that someone having one or more of these factors doesn’t necessarily mean that an individual will develop a mental health condition.

Emily’s supported living with a mental health condition

Diagnosed with a personality disorder and depression a few years ago, Emily had been in and out of the hospital. Working alongside her community psychiatric nurse and psychiatrist, our support team employed cognitive behavioural therapy techniques which enabled Emily to develop positive coping strategies and take responsibility for staying safe. 

With increased self-confidence and self-esteem, Emily moved from 24-7 supported living to a housing association flat where she is now able to identify her triggers and manage her condition independently. 

Today, Emily can drive, is a volunteer and is carving out a career as a trainer, helping care workers and prison officers gain professional qualifications. 

Emily says: “I’m really proud of my achievements. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my Lifeways support team who believed in me all the way. Now I also believe in myself.”

Is poor mental health the same as a mental illness?

Even though the terms are used interchangeably, if a person has poor mental health it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be diagnosed with a mental illness. It’s common to have periods of poor mental health throughout your life, especially during times of stress or big change - but that doesn’t mean you have a mental illness. 

If you feel like you’re struggling with your mental health and it is having an impact on your daily life, please make sure to talk to a healthcare professional.

How can a mental health condition affect a person’s life?

A mental health condition can affect a person’s life in many different ways. It has an impact on how a person thinks, feels and acts, which means it can affect how a person handles situations, interacts with others and the life choices they make.

Long periods of untreated mental health conditions can begin to affect a person’s physical health too, for example, depression can increase a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Sara lives at one of SIL's services, Beada House, with her cat Luna. Having lived with mental health needs for most of her adult life, she moved to Beada House after staying at a rehabilitation centre.

She settled in instantly, enjoying the support of her key worker, growing independence and privacy provided by her very own apartment.

Meet our Managing Director of Mental Health

Mark Spraggs qualified as a Social Worker in 1999 and spent many years as an Approved Mental Health Professional and Social Work Manager within integrated NHS and Local Authority mental health services.

Fast forward to now, and he is the Managing Director of Mental Health at Lifeways - and is responsible for the delivery of high-quality mental health services.

He is committed to a holistic approach to mental health recovery and plays a key part in creating a culture of safe and compassionate support.

How Lifeways can help support people with mental health conditions

At Lifeways, we support people with a range of complex needs including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities and people with acquired brain injuries. Often when someone is living with a complex condition, it is common for someone’s mental health to be impacted as well. 

When someone is living in our supported living or residential care accommodation, we believe it is important to look after all areas of their physical and mental wellbeing, meaning that if someone is living with a mental health condition, like depression or anxiety, alongside their complex needs condition we can help provide further support.

If you want to find out more information or have any questions about support for people living with mental health conditions, please get in touch and our friendly team will be happy to help.

Supported living for people with mental health conditions FAQs

What is supported living?

Supported living refers to a range of services designed to help individuals living with mental health conditions to live independently while receiving the support they need. This can include help with managing medication, assistance with daily tasks, and support in dealing with financial, social, and emotional challenges.

How do I apply for supported living?

The application process for supported living typically involves obtaining a referral from a mental health professional, followed by the completion an application form, and undergoing assessments to determine the most appropriate type of support and accommodation.

Who is eligible for supported living services?

Usually, supported living for those with mental health conditions is given to individuals with a diagnosed mental health condition who require assistance to live independently. Criteria can include the type of mental health diagnosis, the level of support needed, and the individual's ability to participate in community life.

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