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When a service user arrives at the part of their recovery journey where they are able to leave our wards, it is vital they have a place to go to ensure they can progress along their journey. To ensure this, we have teamed up with health and care organisations across Sussex to provide a way for our users to have access to housing and a safe place to live while they recover.

Having issues with access to housing leads to significant challenges across services. Housing issues account for nearly 20% of all delays to discharge from mental health hospitals and cause a lot of users to end up going backwards in recovery. In addition, housing issues also bring more people into our services, as high-quality housing is vital for stronger mental health; with homelessness and other housing problems negatively impacting emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Across Sussex, health and care organisations are working collaboratively to improve the outcomes for people dealing with mental health needs. We have joined forces with; Brighton and Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council, and housing and support providers including Southdown, Turning Tides and Venture People to develop local mental health and housing plans in East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove. Through meetings, we have come together to help implement the mental health Discharge to Assess initiative. The initiative provides supported housing services for people ready to leave the hospital but needs ongoing assessment and support. In addition, it also provides the option for our service users to be spoken to in a community setting instead of receiving assessments at our sites. This option can help our users feel more comfortable so we can provide better care for them. D2A has already been established in West Sussex and Brighton and has enabled over 650 supported discharges from Sussex mental health hospitals. Peter Molyneux, Chair at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"Providing support for people seriously affected by mental health problems with housing and employment alongside clinical services is essential to their recovery. By working together, we can provide better housing options and ensure access to NHS, social care, housing, and community sector support is available to help people live better and more fulfilling lives."

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