Informed by a greater understanding of the system the

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informed by a greater understanding of the system, the nature of homelessness, and its interactions with mental health. This could mean that an assessment by mental health services is able to support better decisions from housing services regarding needs and entitlements. In other situations, an assessment, or a formulation, from mental health services has the potential to increase the understanding of the person involved and those they are already in touch with, such as housing workers, in ways that can be helpful in the short and longer terms. Please see the case studies below.
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Homeless Link Homelessness guidance for Mental Health Professionals 4 Overview of Homelessness and Housing Services The definition of homelessness is in some ways straightforward – it is the state of being without somewhere secure to live. That said, some knowledge of the legal definition that Local Authorities have to apply when considering their duties, alongside other key legal concepts, can be valuable to a mental health worker whose assessment of someone’s mental health, and its impact on them, might enable housing services to make better and more appropriate decisions. It is also helpful to understand the criteria and definitions that might be used by other sources of accommodation and support in your area. This section provides an overview of legislation and what might be available to guide your practice. It should not be used for decision-making in individual cases. Quick reference Is there an immediate and urgent concern for their health or safety? Call 999 Are they sleeping rough? Refer to local outreach via StreetLink: – note that this is not an emergency response, see below for details Are they under 18? Urgent referral to Social Services Are they homeless and vulnerable? Homelessness assessment by the Local Authority. Are they threatened with homelessness within 56 days? Advice and support from the Local Authority. Do they need practical or social advice and support? Connect to a local advice service or day centre: Approaching the Local Authority for support Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 Anyone can apply to the council for help if they are homeless or if they are going to be within the next 56 days. Having some understanding of the tests and considerations that the council will need to make to establish their duties will also allow you, in discussion with the person themselves, to present your impressions and understandings in a way that is relevant. For detailed guidance see Shelter: ess/overview The Homelessness Reduction Act, which came into force in April 2018, introduced significant changes to the previous legislative framework, in particular by introducing new duties on local housing authorities and public bodies to prevent and relieve homelessness. The Act signals a change in culture away from a focus on
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  • Fall '19
  • Poverty, mental health professionals

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