homelessness and health sectors have teamed up to provide professional
psychological support and supportive housing to former rough sleepers in London
in a bid to help them turn their lives around.
The Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE), stemming
from work by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, recognises the high levels of
emotional trauma that accompany, and in many cases precede, an individual
becoming homeless, and aims to address the complex needs of the homeless
population in Lambeth.
It provides access to therapies that more complex elements
of the homeless population currently miss out on due to the chaotic lifestyle
associated with substance misuse or a failure to engage with health and
homelessness support staff.
A range of individual and group psychological sessions are
on offer along with links to drug treatment programmes, mainstream mental
health services and a push to help people move to more independent living.
The project enables those facing multiple disadvantages to
become more self-reliant and find work, a stable home, and participate more
positively in their local community.
Former rough sleepers with a history of being evicted from
their flat or hostel are given a much greater chance of sustaining their
Positive outcomes include a reduction in anti-social and
chaotic behaviour, hospital admissions and spells in prison, improved physical,
emotional and mental health, more personal motivation and the taking of more
responsibility, better social networks and relationships, and an improvement in
self-care and living skills.
As well as working directly with people living in the
hostel, psychologists also support staff there to develop their understanding,
confidence, skills and a psychological approach to working in this challenging
For more information please email email@example.com
To read Dr Emma Williamson and Dr Kathy Taylor's article on Psychologically Informed Environments in the Clinical Psychology Forum (CPF), a winner of the CPF Article of the Year 2015, please download via the link at the bottom of the page.