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Mental health support helps housing customers

A mental health support service for housing association customers is helping Cheshire residents to improve their wellbeing.

Plus Dane Housing teamed up with healthcare charity Making Space for its Wellbeing First project at the end of last year.   

Wellbeing First provides friendly, one-to-one support to customers concerned about mental health issues like depression, stress, anxiety, worry, or low mood. Sessions can take place over the telephone, on video calls, or face-to-face.  

Plus Dane has referred more than 60 customers to the service so far, with positive outcomes recorded for a third of those, helping customers dealing with a wide variety of personal circumstances. 

These include a customer referred by one of Plus Dane’s tenancy enforcement officers, who had picked up on the customer’s low mood while investigating a dispute they were having with a neighbour. After speaking with Making Space, the customer signed up to a tailored online therapy module with weekly follow-up sessions, which included techniques to help with challenging negative thoughts.  

Over ten weeks, their state of mind vastly improved and they reported that they felt listened to and it made a difference just knowing someone was there for them. They added the service helped to greatly improve their mental health, and they felt better equipped to deal with things in future. 

One customer got in touch following a text from Plus Dane promoting the support available. They had been struggling with suicidal thoughts and had been diagnosed with PTSD. Realising the customer needed more appropriate support than they could provide, Making Space created a safety plan, sent an urgent update to the customer’s GP, and made a referral to the NHS talking therapies service. 

Another customer, referred after hearing about the service from Plus Dane’s floating support team, found that simply having someone to talk to about their anxiety and low mood had benefits that were just what they needed.  

Plus Dane’s strategic partnerships manager, Usman Ashiq, said: “The Wellbeing First project has been a great initiative that has already helped customers who have asked for mental health support they may not be able to access otherwise. It is something we are really pleased to be able to continue to offer to anyone struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.” 

The Making Space team said: “The wellbeing project with Plus Dane is a fantastic opportunity for us to offer support to those who otherwise would not know where to turn. We have had some good outcomes with our online therapy modules, and also for those who needed referring into more specialist support. We are a small and friendly team who work to ensure that the person referred gets the best possible outcome for their situation.” 

Wellbeing First is open to Cheshire-based customers of Plus Dane aged 16 and over. Referrals and enquires can be sent to: 

engagement&partnerships@plusdane.co.uk

About Plus Dane:

We are a housing association with a strong social purpose. We employ almost 600 people and have more than 13,500 homes across Merseyside and Cheshire. We are an ambitious organisation striving to provide the very best possible services to over 30,000 customers who live in our homes. We are passionate about our social purpose, and the positive impact that we can have on the communities our customers live in. We have a strong track record as a specialist in affordable home ownership through HomesHub by Plus Dane, the home sales arm of our organisation.

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