The majority of people experience some form of mental ill health at some stage in their lives. Mental ill health can range from mild anxiety and/or depression where medication is not required, to long term serious mental health conditions that require substantial support on a daily basis.
Life experiences such as debt and financial difficulties, bereavements, relationship problems, or problems with your housing, can all have a negative impact on your mental wellbeing.
It is important to seek the right help and support if you are concerned about your mental health. You should speak to your GP in the first instance. Your GP can refer you to a specialist support service if necessary.
You can find information on local services for people with mental health problems through Devon Partnership Trust.
You can obtain independent specialist advice through the national charity MIND.
Maintaining your current accommodation
You should let your GP or any specialist working supporting you know if you are experiencing difficulties maintaining your current home due to mental ill health.
If you do not have an allocated worker, or you are not receiving support from the Mental Health Team, you can contact the Housing Options Team for further advice and support on telephone 012387 428700 or email@example.com. The Housing Options Team will not be able to provide you with medical advice or help with your mental health, but can refer or signpost you to other agencies who can support you, and can offer you advice and support with your housing.
Support that can be offered by the Housing Options Team includes:
- referring you for floating tenancy support if you are struggling to deal with your own benefits or attend essential appointments on your own
- referrals for debt and money advice if you are struggling with your bills, no longer maintaining payment plans or are struggling to contact your creditors yourself due to your mental health
- liaising with Housing Benefits and other welfare benefit agencies with you to help get your benefits reinstated or claimed for the first time
- referring you for additional support to claim Personal Independence Payments if you have already applied but were unsuccessful and you wish to appeal
- support with dealing with your landlord if you are being asked to leave or you are at risk of becoming homeless because you are struggling to manage you tenancy satisfactorily
If you are a friend or relative of someone who is experiencing difficulties managing their home, you can call the Housing Options Team for general advice, but will not receive tailored advice unless the person you are concerned about gives their express consent for the Council to discuss their specific circumstances with you.
Homeless or threatened with homelessness
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness you can ask any local housing authority for help. This is known as making a homeless application. For full information on making a homeless application to Torridge District Council please visit Homeless or threatened with homelessness?
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness it is important that you contact the Housing Options Team at the earliest opportunity. You will be asked if you would prefer to be helped over the telephone, or through an appointment at the Council's offices. You are welcome to bring a support worker or a friend or relative to your appointment.
You will be asked to provide information about your health, any medication you are taking and any support you are receiving. It is important that you tell the Council about your mental health and how this impacts on you and your housing. This will help the Council to assess if all your support needs are being met, and whether additional support can be offered. The Council may need to contact your GP or mental health to obtain supporting information about your medical conditions.
You should tell the Council if you find it difficult to talk on the telephone or open your post, so that alternative ways of keeping in contact with you can be considered. You can nominate a friend, relative or support worker to help you to work with the Council, but you will need to give written consent for the Council to share and discuss your personal information with them. You can withdraw this consent at any time.
The Council will work with you to help you to keep your home or to help you find a home. However, the Council does not have a legal duty to provide accommodation to everyone experiencing mental ill health, so you may not be offered emergency accommodation if you are homeless or become homeless. The Council will only be under a duty to secure you accommodation if there is reason to believe that you are in priority need.
If the Council is under a duty to secure you accommodation, you may be offered accommodation in a homeless hostel, a self contained or shared house, or bed and breakfast. If you are accommodated and then, after carrying out enquiries, the Council decides that you are not in priority need your accommodation may come to an end with reasonable notice whilst work continues to help you find a home.
Enabling and floating support
You may need additional specialised support to help you live independently. This support may be provided through the Community Mental Health Team or through another agency, such as Alabaré. This support is usually short term but aims to enable you to gain the skills you need to manage to live independently longer term.
Please speak to your mental health worker if you feel you need this extra support with your mental health. Alternatively, you can contact Torridge District Council if you feel that you would benefit from short term tenancy support from an agency, such as Alabaré.
Supported mental health accommodation
You can only access supported mental health accommodation if you have been assessed by the Community Mental Health Team as requiring a significant level of support on a weekly basis. This type of accommodation has specially trained support staff, and is for people who are vulnerable and have extensive mental health needs that cannot be met in other forms of accommodation. It may be provided in a shared living environment, so you may be sharing a kitchen and bathroom with other residents.
If you move into supported mental health accommodation, you will have a support plan designed to enable you to manage more independently and to help you to move on into your own accommodation when you are ready.
The Housing Options team at Torridge District Council cannot make referrals to supported mental health accommodation. You will need to speak to the Community Mental Health Team to see if you are eligible for this type of accommodation.
Devon Home Choice
Devon Home Choice is a choice based lettings scheme through which Council and Housing Association homes in Devon are allocated. For detailed information visit Devon Home Choice website.
You may be awarded additional priority due to a medical condition if it is being affected by your current housing situation. It is important that you provide as much information and evidence as you can about your mental health and any other medical conditions. You can provide this information in the Health and Wellbeing section of the online form, or you can complete a paper Health and Wellbeing form.
To support your Devon Home Choice application, you can provide:
- medical letters from your GP or other health care provider detailing your current diagnosis, medical history and medication
- copies of current prescriptions
- support or care plans or letters provided by care providers/Social Services or NHS
- a copy of your Summary Care Records from your GP
- any other evidence you feel demonstrates your medical and housing needs
You can ask your mental health worker, or any other health specialist working with you to provide information to support your need.