As part of World Mental Health Day we are looking at the different types of support on offer to people with mental health needs.
Transitional housing units can help support adults over 18 with mental health needs and/or drug or alcohol issues. Short-term leases range from six to eight months as well as long-term support for up to two years. They can also help people adjust to living back home if they have just come out of hospital and planned respite and crises services that mean you can stay in a unit for one night or up to two weeks.
There are three transitional housing units across Leeds and Bewerley Croft is one of them. Unit manager Emily Morgan spent a day with one of their service users Martin to find out how he is supported day to day.
When I meet Martin it is 9am and he is up and out of bed, had his breakfast and is ready for the day. Martin has his own flat at Bewerley Croft and he tells me he loves having his own space, and not having to share a kitchen or bathroom.
At 9:30am Martin is helping to set up for a
Macmillan Coffee Morning to raise money for the Macmillan nurses. The coffee morning is 10-12 and ends up being a great success. In total Bewerley Croft raises £96.70.
At 1pm after lunch Martin meets with his key worker to discuss housing options. Transitional tenancies are for up to 6 months and each tenant is supported to find appropriate accommodation in an area of their choosing.
At 2:30pm Martin shows me where he likes to relax. There is a communal computer which he spends most days on making use of the free Wifi. He also loves reggae music and likes to listen to that on his smartphone.
It’s coming to the end of the day and at 4pm I catch Martin doing his laundry. He tells me that he likes the fact that he does not have to share laundry facilities with others. In places he has lived before, items of clothing have gone missing so he feels a lot happier here.
As I leave Martin at 5pm he is relaxing in the communal lounge with his feet up. Focusing on the theme for this year’s World Mental Health day, ‘dignity in mental health’ means to me being respected and valued. I asked Martin before I left what it meant to him.
“Dignity to me is being treated like an adult and not being treated as a child”
It’s important to continue to raise awareness of what can be done to ensure that people with mental health conditions can continue to live with dignity. Bewerley Croft is just one example of mental health services currently on offer to Leeds residents. Small changes can turn into something bigger and better and for those experiencing mental health difficulties, it could be life changing or indeed, life saving.
A referral to one of the appropriate units should be made through a healthcare professional, voluntary sector service or community mental health team. You can also contact Adult Social Care on 0113 222 4401 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
Transitional Housing Unit contact details
144 Spen Lane THU, Leeds, LS16 5EJ
Tel: 0113 336 7877
Cottingley Court THU, Cottingley Approach, Leeds, LS11 0HP
Tel: 0113 336 7727
Bewerley Croft THU, Northcote Drive, Leeds, LS11 6DN
Tel: 0113 336 7732