We can all identify with things that we shouldn’t do. However, peer pressure, feeling something we don’t want to feel and past experiences, can all be large forces that can drive us towards immediate solutions for these problems. This can be a behaviour, having friends who do not want the best for us, gambling or constantly using pornography. Using alcohol or another substance to feel a different way. All of these can alleviate something we don’t wish to experience. But doing these things can isolate us socially, economically and mentally from society in general. Which is why working to connect people can be one of the best solutions for recovery.
“Mental health refers to a broad array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental well-being component included in the WHO’s definition of health: “A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease”. It is related to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, and the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental disorders.” – World Health Organisation
“Anyone can become homeless, and sleeping rough can be dangerous and can damage your health. The longer someone sleeps rough, the greater the risk that they will become trapped on the streets and vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime, developing drug or alcohol problems, or experiencing problems with their health. Rough sleepers may not be known to local services because they remain out of sight, bedding down at different times of day or night, and moving from place to place.” – StreetLink
People with multiple needs can be some of the people, furthest away from society. Unable to get qualifications, work experience, being disconnected from the benefits system, an unhelpful peer group, alcohol and substance use. Can all lead to someone committing criminal offences, out of a need to fit into a group, or just to survive.This can lead to prison and court which can lead to people feeling even further from society. The criminal justice service can be extremely disruptive to people’s accommodation and support services. Making it difficult for them to address their core needs.
Multiple support needs- Severe and Multiple Disadvantage
As you can see above these needs can be to difficult address as just one singular issue, needing focus and a experienced practitioner. However as discovered in Lankelly Chase’s Hard Edges report. Two thirds of people with one of these needs, will have another one of these support needs.
This can generate difficulty and frustration for all parties. As someone who wants to access a service may be refused or signposted away if they have multiple needs. This can be also confusing for practitioners in how to support people with multiple needs. Sometimes their service is the only one equipped to address a support need, but requires joined up working with another service to address a related need. All the while there is a cultural pressure, to consolidate resources and to concentrate on producing short term positive results.
This is happening when people with multiple needs, require long term, multi disciplinary support. The Expert Citizens are here to advocate for long term personalised support. Using the skills and knowledge they have developed through experiencing these services personally.
We encourage you to read more about the issue with the brilliant resources produced by our friends Lankelly Chase.