Good News Family Care (Homes) Ltd is a Christian based organisation offering support through residential support for women and families who have experienced issues such as substance misuse, domestic violence, homelessness, mental health difficulties and safeguarding issues. We aim to bring hope to people who are hurting, helping to strengthen relationship skills and to break the cycle of dysfunction for future generations by motivating and empowering people for real and lasting change. Through working together with local agencies our vision is to make a positive impact through the influence of each transformed life affecting the whole. Our work is focussed on supporting people towards being at peace with themselves and others and to become strong and confident in who they are. Our team are committed to ensuring that support is proactive in responding to fluctuations in the mental health of service users appropriately and tailored toward minimising risk of suicide.
Hardwick Square East
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
GNFC works to support individuals to maintain good mental health reducing the risk of suicide.
We support individuals potentially at high risk of suicide through life’s circumstances, eg addiction, fleeing Domestic Abuse. Referrals may include those with complex needs as a secondary issue, often including unidentified mental health difficulties.
Staff complete risk assessments following referral, including mental health/suicidal tendencies and support residents to address their presenting needs. When appropriate a referral is made to Community Mental Health/Crisis teams, GP or counselling service. Staff are equipped to provide emotional support and to respond appropriately to resident’s needs.
Information of available services/support networks are accessible to staff and passed onto residents as appropriate. Staff seek to work in collaboration with partner agencies, and liaise regarding residents and day clients needs.
Staff continually assess each resident’s state of mind. If a person’s mental health is considered to be deteriorating, mental health services will be contacted for an assessment. If the risk increases, alternative specialist accommodation will be sought. Where appropriate, staff will store and dispense resident’s medication as prescribed -an agreement to this effect is signed by residents on entry.
GNFC seeks to support the family of residents, including those affected by suicide. Referrals are made to specialised support agencies.
Training to increase knowledge in suicide awareness and mental health issues is mandatory for all support staff. Managers will undergo Suicide Prevention and Risk Management training and disseminate the information to the wider team and other professionals where possible.
What are your current priorities?
We aim to improve communication and cooperation between our services and the local Mental Health team, and to promote and develop our interagency working practices. We recognise the benefit of these partnerships as being integral to the best outcomes for our residents. These opportunities will also enhance our links with other agencies who are working with those at risk of suicide and whose families can benefit from our services.
GNFC aims to ensure that all staff members are sufficiently trained to respond to each resident’s needs, and effectively reduce the risk of suicide, ultimately supporting them to improve their mental health. Staff have access to local training on a range of issues including mental health, toxic trio and complex needs, however their knowledge and skills could be developed further. They would particularly benefit from support to deepen their understanding of the Mental Health Act, Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty.
We will develop relationships with referrers to support them in making referrals appropriate for the service and improved communication about mental health issues and other risk factors.Strengthen the risk assessment at referral and ensure that in the interview following referral a robust process of investigation and assessment is undertaken to develop an effective risk management plan.
Individuals affected by suicide will be offered support and counselling to assist them in processing the trauma and emotional repercussions of the event. They will be supported to access specialist agencies such as ‘Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide’.
What challenges are you currently facing?
GNFC has referrals from organisations regarding individuals who have a wide range of needs. Mental health difficulties is often a factor. Referrals may come from both statutory and voluntary organisations. The referral form requests for information regarding the individual’s mental health. However due to the large variety of referrers who have varying levels of training in assessing and understanding issues of mental health, obtaining an accurate assessment prior to admission can be a challenge.
Another challenge relates to different thresholds of organisations, for example when and if the mental health team could see and assess a resident about whom staff have raised significant concerns. Service users potentially can be catastrophically affected in such cases. Service users would benefit from improved coordination between services and reconsideration of thresholds and timescales, particularly by statutory mental health services.