Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Program opens doors for people living with mental health disability

An innovative program will provide housing support for people living with mental health disability who are at risk of homelessness.

The Doorway program supports individuals to find suitable and affordable housing in the private rental market, maintain their tenancy, develop life skills for the long term and gain employment.

Commission research highlights the struggles vulnerable Victorians face when trying to access the private rental market.

Locked out, the 2012 report showed that some people experience discrimination and stereotyping because of having a disability, including mental health disabilities, making it difficult for them to secure a home.

Doorway helps individuals with their own personal recovery, focusing on a home, a job and relationships by addressing social isolation and increasing participants’ confidence and choice.

Doorway already operates in the Baw Baw, Latrobe, and Yarra regions where it has secured private rental housing and provided ongoing support for 59 adults with a severe mental health disability.

An evaluation of the program found significantly improved health and housing outcomes, with most people achieving stable and secure private rental accommodation.

Participants have also become more actively engaged in their own health and wellbeing. Many progressed to the point of being able to be discharged as clients by their clinical mental health service.

Doorway will now extend into the Boroondara, Darebin, Moreland, Port Philip, Stonington, Glen Eira, Frankston and Mornington Peninsula areas to support another 50 people per year over the next four years.

The program is delivered by the Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria in partnership with the Victorian Government, clinical mental health services and the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

To find out more visit the MI Fellowship website.