Hughendon Lodge is a specialist accommodation service providing support for people living with mental health issues.
The service users are referred to them through mental health teams and social services; more recently on discharge from hospitals when units are struggling for bed space. On some occasions people would otherwise be homeless if they were not referred to the Lodge. Their mental health needs can be described as being the higher end of mental health difficulties, both severe and enduring that people have had over many years. Their ages range between 18 and 65+.
On referral to the Lodge an assessment will take place. During that assessment the team will conduct a needs and risk assessment, through discussion about their life and clarifying where they have lived especially for the past 5 years. This is to establish whether the applicant has any ‘local connections’. The staff team will discuss the referred person’s physical health as well as their mental wellbeing and find out any history of medication.
It is important to hear the individual’s story and how they reached this point. An exploration of the life skills they have is undertaken to better understand what support might be needed.
If there is a local connection this helps with housing, GP services, dentist and other mental health services once they have moved on. If they have no connection to mental health services then Hughendon Lodge will do what they can to get them connected.
Part of the initial assessment is to find out about their interests, what do they like doing? What do they think you are good at and what would they like to do that they are not already doing it?
Part of the recovery will be to get involved in different activities, mainly in-house but externally as well. The Recovery College is one of the places they can visit as well as Clarendon College and Framework’s training college in Bulwell that help with real life skill teaching. These visits are carried out with the assistance of Hughendon. If the resident chooses to, and funding is available, they are taken on holiday to places in the UK. Visits to Norfolk, Robin Hoods Bay, walks in Derbyshire or the Lake District; also visits to places like Leicester’s space center and the Harry Potter experience. Going away on holiday helps to build relationships and goes a long way to breaking down the barriers of social exclusion. Emotional resilience is built on happy memories and their time away helps to lay the foundations of their recovery.
Common causes of mental health issues can be from trauma: domestic violence, a traumatic upbringing, physical or sexual abuse all have a huge impact on a person’s emotional wellbeing. There are also service users who have grown up with Autism or Learning Disabilities and very often they do not know or understand their condition; however, they develop coping strategies that work for them but cause the people around them sometimes feel uncomfortable at their behavior this can cause them to self-isolate.
Hughendon Lodge staff help to build life skills, independence, confidence and hope for the future, so by the time the service users leave, they know how to manage on their own with basic life-skills like cooking, keeping themselves clean as well as a clean house, how to communicate with the agencies that support them when they are living independently and managing their emotions. Hughendon also act as an advocate in supporting them as part of their aftercare, for example with welfare benefits and if needed there is a respite room that can be visited anytime by previous residents if they need a safe place to talk. Currently there are 15 residents on site with a further 15 that are supported externally. The bedrooms are furnished with shower, toilet, kitchen area with cupboards for storing plates, pots and pans. In the Lodge the communal areas include a pool room, a lounge area, conservatory, laundry room, dining room and computers are available to use. Training is provided in the kitchen for those wishing to learn how to cook.
There is also access to supported flats in St Ann’s which offer the opportunity to have a lower level of support giving a bit more preparation for more independent living. The aim of the service to support service users to achieve and maintain stability within the community. The staff team encourages and supports individuals to move towards greater independence with a more sustainable lifestyle at a pace that feels appropriate: usually in 12 to 18 months.
If you would like to know more about Hughendon Lodge, please visit https://www.frameworkha.org/service/hughendon-lodge