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Article

Emilie Smeaton

This paper aims to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing psychologically informed environments (PiEs) in services for homeless people.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an invited opinion piece and comment based on the author's specialist knowledge gained from undertaking research addressing the experiences and needs of young runaways.

Findings

The new operational guidance is welcomed but should be extended so that psychologically informed environments are provided in services for young runaways under the age of 16, who often encounter abuse, mental health issues and problematic substance misuse and experience homelessness post 16 and into adulthood.

Originality/value

Commissioners and practitioners should encourage the development of psychologically informed environments for young runaways to meet their needs, aid recovery and reduce the likelihood of experiencing homelessness as they move into adulthood.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

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Article

Keith Walton and Ian Walton

This paper seeks to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing psychologically informed environments (PIEs) in services for homeless people.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an invited opinion piece and comment, based on the specialist experience and viewpoint of the authors in education on mental health issues in primary care.

Findings

The new operational guidance is welcomed, with some provisos. Psychologically informed environments are needed not just in homelessness resettlement, but in all areas where services are commissioned; and all commissioned services should take particular care to collect suitable data on the outcomes they aim for and intend to achieve.

Originality/value

There is a great opportunity with GP commissioning to commission services that are psychologically informed and holistic, although it may be hard to ensure services remain user‐focused and not disjointed if split up for tendering. Public health leadership on the new Health and Wellbeing Boards will be crucial to integrate services so the new system will not make things worse. Given the need, hopefully a similar drive for PIEs everywhere – the criminal justice system, care homes and community wellbeing – will follow.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

Keywords

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Article

Robin Johnson and Rex Haigh

Although the idea of a therapeutic community (TC) has lost none of its dynamism, there are many modern‐day environments in which the original TC model has been unable to…

Abstract

Although the idea of a therapeutic community (TC) has lost none of its dynamism, there are many modern‐day environments in which the original TC model has been unable to make headway. In recent years, new ideas have been emerging for the development of institutions and services that can be adapted to a wide range of psychological needs and settings, such as homelessness hostels and refuges. The psychologicallyinformed environment (PIE) arises from the scope for reflective practice, leading to changes in day‐to‐day working ‐ including a more planned variant for high secure services. The PIE approach seems to offer greater flexibility in scope than the TC model. Nevertheless, such new approaches may yet need a clear values base; and the next article in this series will explore new ideas for the creation of ‘enabling environments’ in a still wider range of settings.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article

Annie Whelan

This paper seeks to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing psychologically informed environments (PIEs) in services for homeless people.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an invited opinion piece and comment based on the specialist experience and viewpoint of the author in working with advocacy services in the UK and in the USA.

Findings

The new operational guidance is welcomed, with some provisos. Specifically, any emphasis on training for staff should certainly include an equal weighting on training for service users themselves in order to support positive self‐direction and development.

Originality/value

Services that wish to develop as PIEs will need to ensure that service users are fully engaged and enabled through the process to identify their own needs.

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Article

Rex Haigh, Tom Harrison, Robin Johnson, Sarah Paget and Susan Williams

This paper aims to describe the origins of the concept of a psychologically informed environment (PIE), as now adopted and applied in homelessness resettlement, placing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the origins of the concept of a psychologically informed environment (PIE), as now adopted and applied in homelessness resettlement, placing this in the context of work recently carried out under the aegis of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Centre for Quality Improvement to recognise and promote “enabling environments” in all areas of social practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper gives an historical account of the contemporary development of new thinking and practical applications for enhancing community mental health and well‐being.

Findings

The concept of an enabling environment (EE) arose out of efforts to up‐date for the twenty‐first century the post‐war concept of a therapeutic community, for all services working with the same basic core values and psycho‐social awareness. The EE approach now applies this framework more flexibly, yet with a clear operational focus in each sector, to a wider range of organisational contexts, social practice and agencies outside the therapy and care services world. From the outset, homelessness resettlement and social housing practice was seen as a key part of the overall ambition.

Practical implications

Understanding the values base behind social‐psychological approaches in social practice environments helps to translate these ideas into service‐led improvements in actual frontline services practice. In particular, the enabling environments approach offers a handy tool for self‐assessment and service improvement, which is fully compatible with the PIE's philosophy.

Originality/value

The concept of a PIE is currently acquiring momentum within homelessness resettlement work in the UK. In helping to establish the underlying values framework for psychologicallyinformed services; and also provide tools for such services to use, this paper makes a contribution to help inform developing practice.

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Article

Catriona Phipps, Martin Seager, Lee Murphy and Chris Barker

Many homeless people have significant levels of early adverse experiences and consequent mental health difficulties. The purpose of this paper is to examine the…

Abstract

Purpose

Many homeless people have significant levels of early adverse experiences and consequent mental health difficulties. The purpose of this paper is to examine the experiences of residents and staff living and working in a psychologically informed environment (PIE), a new model of hostel for homeless people which aims to update and make more flexible the principles of the therapeutic community, thereby meeting the psychological and emotional needs of residents.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were carried out with nine residents, ten staff and five psychotherapists at two PIE hostels in London. The data were analysed using thematic analysis with a phenomenological epistemological approach.

Findings

Analysis generated 18 themes for residents and staff combined, organised into five domains: what makes a home, resident needs, managing relationships, reflective practice and theory vs practice of PIEs. The study suggests that PIEs broadly meet their aim in providing a different type of environment from standard hostels. Efforts to build relationships with residents are particularly prioritised. This work can be challenging for staff and reflective practice groups provide a supportive forum. There are limits to the extent to which the theoretical PIE can be put into practice in the current political and economic climate.

Originality/value

This is one of the first qualitative studies of PIEs. It provides perspectives on their theoretical background as well as how they operate and are experienced in practice. It may be informative to services intending to establish a PIE and to commissioners in assessing appropriate resources.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

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Article

Claire Ritchie

The purpose of this paper is to inspire services to create Psychologically Informed Environments (PIEs) to support people experiencing homelessness, complex trauma and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to inspire services to create Psychologically Informed Environments (PIEs) to support people experiencing homelessness, complex trauma and multiple exclusion.

Design/methodology/approach

It outlines key elements of PIEs and how these have been implemented at the Waterloo Project; a 19 bed hostel and integrated health and social care partnership in Lambeth. It considers the importance of meeting individuals emotional and psychological needs to support them out of homelessness.

Findings

The service review found a reliable reduction in residents’ mental distress and improved health and wellbeing. Repeat homelessness, anti-social and self-harming behaviour decreased whilst engagement with services, self-care and esteem increased. There are early indications of cost benefits to health and social care services. Staff reported professional development and an increase in their sense of personal accomplishment.

Originality/value

The paper aims to share learning, good practice and the outcomes of a psychologically informed approach to working with individuals who have not had their needs met by existing services. It illustrates the actual and potential social and economic impact and value on both individuals and public services.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

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Article

Aileen Edwards

This paper seeks to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing psychologically informed environments (PIEs) in services for homeless people.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an invited opinion piece and comment, based on the specialist experience and viewpoint of the author as Chief Executive of Second Step, a housing association providing support to a range of vulnerable people.

Findings

The new operational guidance is welcomed. The author outlines the use of the concept of a psychologically informed environment, as developed in practice through an initial pilot service run by Second Step. This practice learning was then spread and developed more broadly through other Second Step services.

Originality/value

On the basis of their experience, the author makes observations on what was found most useful, to “inform” their service. The agency has now agreed a Psychological Therapies Strategy, which focuses on developing training for staff on interventions that can be effectively used within the staff role. Reflective practice is promoted throughout the service.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

Keywords

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Article

Vic Rayner

This paper seeks to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing psychologically informed environments (PiEs) in services for homeless people.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an invited opinion piece and comment based on the specialist experience and viewpoint of the author, as Chief Executive of SITRA, a membership‐based organisation representing approximately 1000 organisations in the housing care and support sector in the UK.

Findings

The new operational guidance is welcomed, with some provisos. The author notes the extent to which the guidance is compatible with current philosophies of service development, especially those commended and endorsed by government; but is concerned over how far it will be practicable to extend best practice, as recommended in the guidance, at a time when many services are being forced to cut their costs, and some are for example employing less experienced staff at lower rates.

Originality/value

The guidance is welcome in recognising best practice; but increasing expectations of the sector may be frustrated and undermined by the drive for savings in an era of austerity.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

Keywords

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Article

John Conolly

This paper aims to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer a commentary on Psychologically Informed Services: A Good Practice Guide, a recently published operational guidance document on developing psychologically informed environments (PIEs) in services for homeless people.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an invited opinion piece and comment based on the specialist experience and viewpoint of the author as lead counsellor in an inner‐city homelessness service.

Findings

The new operational guidance is welcomed as it describes the author's experience of working with individuals with complex needs. Nevertheless, the author is concerned that this development should be seen and presented as supporting staff, rather than as indicating their failings.

Originality/value

Fundamental to the successful implementation of PIEs will be the adoption of the concept by management teams, as it may require changes to current service policies and training of staff at all levels in an organisation.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

Keywords

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