WQ83699 (e) Tabled on 25/10/2021

Will the Minister make a statement on strengthening the partnership working between supported living schemes and mental health services?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing | Answered on 02/11/2021

We continue to work across government to implement our Together for Mental Health strategy, to improve mental health and well-being and reduce inequalities by focussing on strengthening protective factors. This includes supporting a range of actions that focus on housing.

The Integrated Care Fund (ICF) Capital programme provides investment in new and remodelled supported living schemes, including for older people with complex needs. This investment is £40 million this year, on top of £105 million invested in the previous three years. Decisions about which projects to prioritise are made by Regional Partnership Boards.

In addition, the Housing Support Grant (HSG), totalling £166.7 million, is distributed annually to local authorities to plan and commission housing related support services. These housing related support services aim to prevent homelessness and support people to have the capability, independence, skills and confidence to access and/or maintain a stable and suitable home.  This can include providing housing related support to individuals in a supported living setting, including brokering access to mental health support services.  Local authorities plan and commission HSG services based on local needs and it should be set out in their annual HSG Delivery Plan. In the process of developing their plans they must also consult and engage with the key stakeholders, including health and social services.

We are also working across government to develop our Rapid Rehousing model and the necessary wrap around support, which would include for both mental health and substance misuse.  We have invested over £1m per annum to support this work in four pilot areas.

Our current Together for Mental Health strategy, which has been supported by a series of delivery plans, finishes next year. We have recently commissioned ORS to undertake an independent evaluation of this strategy to gauge what progress has been made and what needs to be put in place for the successor plans.