Every year, we support hundreds of people severely affected by mental illness to recover and regain their confidence and to make that first step towards living independently in their own community. Nowhere is this better-illustrated than in our network of supported houses.
For many people, having somewhere to call home can be vital in their recovery. We know that the gap between leaving care and going home can often be a challenge and that services like ours can be a steppingstone towards independence.
"When Ryan arrived at our supported housing service, he was extremely nervous and experiencing severe depression. On that first night with us, I was really anxious for him. I knew when he opened his front door, he'd see a bed, cooker and fridge, but there'd be no living essentials to turn that empty space into a warm and welcoming home." - Lucy, Mental Health Recovery Worker.
The following month Ryan actually managed to scrape enough money together to pay for a basic duvet and some cheap bedding of his own. This happened during the springtime. But we may have people arrive this winter when there's thick snow on the ground and a freezing chill in the air.
We'll do everything we can to help our residents settle in and make them feel comfortable. But the reality is the funding for our service only covers getting a resident into one of our properties and furnishing it with the essentials. We just can't stretch to basics such as cutlery, towels or bedding.
This is why I would be so grateful if you would take action this Christmas for people living with severe mental illness.