Mental Health Support for Bedford Homeless

The Harpur Trust and Amicus Trust extend project for vulnerable adults

20 July 2017

Amicus Trust, with thanks to support from The Harpur Trust, will contine to run it’s successful mental health project  which addresses the high level of poor mental health amoungst homeless people by providing counselling and mental health workshops. The project delivers counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy and workshops in anxiety, anger management and living within the law to help homeless people in Bedford get back on their feet  and return to an independent life in their own homes.

Since 2010 there has been a year on year increase in the number of rough sleepers throughout the UK, alarmingly in between 2014 and 2015 the figure in Bedford increased by 104% compared to 30% for the rest of the country (www.homeless.org.uk)  While there are multiple complex reasons that lead to rough sleeping, poor mental health is considered one of the most significant.

A study from Crisis has underlined the close link between mental health and homelessness, with 80% of homeless individuals suffering with mental health problems, significantly higher than the general population. Poor Mental Health is not only a leading cause of homelessness but without intervention will worsen during periods of homelessness which can make it difficult or at times impossible for people to back on their feet . “A lot of homeless people are unable to get the support they need when it comes to mental health, this is for a variety of reasons – no formal diagnosis, lack of trust of authorities, fear, long waiting times and transient lifestyle ” Adrian Henson, Mental Health Project Lead explained “this project recognises these initial issues and offers a mental health service aimed specifically at the homeless community – we are approachable, accessible and have no long waiting times and because we have been working with homeless people for over 40 years we are trusted within the community”

    Amicus Trust is dedicated to supporting all homeless individuals in Bedford back to independence through the provision of accommodation and a range of support services in Education and Emloyment, Life Skills and the successful Mental Health project.   Since its  launch in 2015, the project has helped 48% of people improve their mental well being, 34% have increased levels of engagement with mental health / addicition services, 31% already move into their own accommodation and 30% engage better with housing related support.   In 2017, Amicus Trust were delighted to be offered support in the form of funding from The Harpur Trust,   Janet Prince, Chief Executive of Amicus Trust explained how important the involvement of The Harpur Trust was “we are so fortunate to have the support of The Harpur Trust on this project, like Amicus they are committed to supporting people in Bedford, and have provided funding and valuable input into the project.” Janet continued  “ This funding  will give people with mental health needs the opportunity to access support or simply have the opportunity to talk to someone, maybe for the first time.”   Lucy BardnerCommunity Programmes Director for The Harpur Trust explained why they wanted to work with the project “As funders of several  charities supporting homeless people in the Borough, we are acutely aware of the rise in the number of people locally who are homeless or in housing need.  Projects like this, which address the problems which make it difficult for homeless people to re-engage with mainstream society, are vital at this time. ”   The Amicus Trust Mental Health project is free and available to homeless adults in Bedford.  If you want to find our more or need support please call now on 01234 358478  

© 2017 Kellie Ormond