The Royal College of Psychiatrists wholeheartedly welcomes the decision to protect housing benefits for people in supported housing. This will undoubtedly benefit a significant number of vulnerable individuals and offer them the support and stability needed to recover from their mental health problems.
There has been considerable uncertainty for many individuals, because of the changes to the housing benefits system. The funding for supported housing had become a more unclear process and affected those with severe mental illnesses more adversely. Stability of housing is integral to recovery and provides opportunities to socially engage and to remain well.
RCPsych would like to thank all the groups who actively campaigned for this over the past months, to ensure that the rights of people to safe accommodation is protected. Our thanks go specially to Rethink Mental Illness, and to all the organisations that provide supported housing. They have all played a huge part in this campaign.
The Faculty of Rehabilitation and Social Psychiatry would especially like to thank Dr Sri Kalidindi, who has actively campaigned for this and built alliances to see through such an effective campaign.
What remains now is to ensure that this opportunity is not lost. All services must start integrating with supported housing providers more effectively so that clinical, social and recovery needs are all met within an individual’s place of residence. We also hope that such initiatives will reduce incidents of crisis, the need for readmissions and ultimately improve the outcomes for many people with severe and enduring mental illnesses.