A hostel in Milton Keynes has taken proactive steps to improve the lives of young homeless people by providing professional staff to address their mental health needs. The YMCA in Milton Keynes has experienced a 23% reduction in emergency calls to 999 services since support workers were employed to assist residents in crisis situations. The hostel, which provides supported housing to around 200 adults between the ages of 18 and 35, has made mental health support a priority in order to make a positive impact on the lives of its residents.
One success story attributed to the mental health support offered by the YMCA is that of TJay Thomas, a 23-year-old father of three who had struggled with addiction and homelessness. With the help of mental health support, Thomas has been able to stay away from drugs and alcohol for the past four months, marking a significant turning point in his life.
Recognizing the significant impact that mental health challenges can have on young people, the YMCA has initiated a project called Mental Wealth. This project brings mental health professionals on-site to provide support within the hostel. Services include drop-in sessions and one-on-one assistance from psychologists. In addition, the hostel has replaced overnight security staff with support workers. The project has received £500,000 in funding over four years from the National Lottery, further supporting the YMCA’s commitment to improving mental health support for young homeless individuals.
Jane Lambert, the CEO of Madewell, a private healthcare firm contracted to run the YMCA’s mental health service, stressed the importance of timely access to mental health care. She explained that the demand for mental health services within the NHS often leads to long waiting times, which can have a detrimental effect on individuals in need. By bringing experienced clinicians directly to the residence, the YMCA aims to prevent situations from worsening for their residents by providing timely and expert care.
A report conducted by the University of Northampton found that 70% of young adults living at the YMCA in Milton Keynes identified as having mental health issues. This staggering statistic highlights the urgent need for mental health support within the hostel. The efforts made by the YMCA to address this issue have already shown positive results in reducing emergency calls and improving the lives of their residents, as evidenced by TJay Thomas’ personal experience. By prioritizing mental health support, the YMCA in Milton Keynes is making a significant difference in the lives of young homeless individuals and helping them to build a brighter future.