Thames Reach
Saturday 21 October 2017
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ITV film to explore mental health and homelessness

9 May 2017


Gavin and Emma
Emma (right), a psychologist from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, with a Thames Reach hostel resident

ITV London News is showing a film this evening at 6pm exploring mental health and homelessness and Thames Reach’s services as part of its coverage of Mental Health Awareness Week.

The film was made by TV Presenter Katie Oakes, who visited the Thames Reach Graham House hostel in Vauxhall and accompanied an outreach shift in north London last week. Her film explores the innovative ways in which homeless people with mental health issues are being helped.

At Graham House she met hostel residents, Thames Reach support staff and psychologists from the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, who are based at three hostels in Lambeth and run the unique Psychology in Hostels project.

Psychology in Hostels helps former rough sleepers to help get their lives back on track by giving access to therapies provided by the onsite psychologists, which can help them address the high level of emotional trauma they may be struggling with – the latest quarterly rough sleeping figures in London indicate up to 50 per cent of homeless people have mental health issues.

Many residents may have had a turbulent upbringing with spells in care. The project helps the hostel residents to address any drug and alcohol issues or mental health problems, and to become self-reliant and ready for a more independent lifestyle.

Katie also filmed an outreach shift in north London with experienced Thames Reach outreach worker Ben Sebok. He spoke about how many rough sleepers are struggling with mental health problems and failing to engage with the support services that are trying to help them.

Increasingly, Thames Reach is building partnerships with organisations such as the Enabling Assessment Service London (EASL), which can send out mental health professionals onto the street to work alongside Thames Reach outreach staff.

These specialists can make assessments on people’s mental health and make sure they get the support and treatment they need to get better.