November 30, 2020
News

New mental health service to help Wicklow tenants in danger of losing their home

A new mental health housing initiative for county Wicklow has been given the green light.

HAIL (Housing Association for Integrated Living) has announced a new mental health tenancy sustainment service for the Greystones and Wicklow areas funded by and in partnership with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Wicklow County Council.

The new Visiting Support Service will support people with mental health difficulties who are living in local authority or private rented accommodation and receiving social housing support, who are at risk of losing their tenancies and entering homelessness.

“People who have an existing mental health difficulty such as schizophrenia, bipolar or depression may need at times some extra support to manage their home and can really benefit from this service.” explains Sandra Fox, Head of Services with HAIL. “We will work with clients and their community mental health teams on their personal recovery goals and encourage them to better manage their home, to be good neighbours and to live independently.

“Support offered could involve helping people to maintain family connections, socialise or source further education or employment. Or it could be help with budgeting, paying their rent and utility bills or managing conflict as a result of stigma. Each case is different”.

HAIL is an Approved Housing Body whose mission is to provide quality housing and individually tailored services to support tenants and clients, primarily those with mental health difficulties, to integrate and live independent lives in the community. The housing body already operates the visiting service in the greater Dublin area.

“Visiting support is typically offered for around 6 months,” Sandra Fox. “Clients are visited in their own homes and support is provided on a one-to-one basis.”

Commending the collaborative initiative, Frank Curran, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council said: “Wicklow County Council has continued to develop relationships with the specialist Approved Housing Bodies operating in the region and this collaboration has been critical in dealing with the many and complex issues that can arise from tenants suffering from mental health.

“The Housing Section had the foresight to set up a Mental Health forum in 2018 with representatives from the HSE, Wicklow County Council and HAIL, which has led to the appointment of a Tenancy Support Officer by HAIL, jointly funded by Wicklow County Council and the HSE, for the County.”

Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Irene Winters added: “Prevention of homelessness is a key focus of Wicklow County Council and is enshrined in the Action Plan for Homelessness.  I am delighted to see this initiative launched and look forward to hearing of many positive outcomes.”

The service is now operating in Wicklow between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Call 01 671 8444 or visit www.hail.ie for more information.


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