Fulfilling Lives South East, a partnership led BHT with partners Equinox and Oasis Project, is working with organisations up and down the country to increase access to mental health support for the most vulnerable. They are part of a campaign movement called #seethefullpicture, which aims to raise awareness of the challenges people experiencing homelessness, addiction, poor mental health and other complex needs face in their lives.
The current #seethefullpicture campaign centres on a petition which aims to ensure that everyone can access mental health support when they need it. Currently those facing addiction and mental ill health are frequently denied mental health support until they reduce or stop their substance misuse, but it’s often their mental ill health that is causing their addiction. It is a ‘catch 22’ scenario, which results in people becoming more unwell, and more at risk.
The Fulfilling Lives South East project works with people in this position in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings, providing intensive and tailored support to those who ‘fall through the cracks’ of existing systems and services, as well as advocating for those systems to change.
They help people like Emma, who despite having multiple mental health diagnoses couldn’t access mainstream support due to her addiction issues. Emma was very anxious and was drinking as a way of coping with past trauma. Fulfilling Lives South East gave her tailored support, helping her with ‘equine therapy’, a talking therapy which involves horses. It enabled her to address the root causes of her addiction, and was a crucial first step in her recovery.
Jo Rogers, the Project Lead for the Fulfilling Lives South East partnership, said:
90% of the people Fulfilling Lives supports are dealing with both mental ill health and addiction. People facing both these issues struggle to access mental health support until they ‘fix’ their addiction, but their addiction and mental health are usually linked, leaving them in an impossible situation.
We think everyone should be able to access mental health support, when they need it. If you do too, sign our petition and help us make the case for change.
The petition can be signed at www.seethefullpicture.org.uk and Fulfilling Lives will be taking it to commissioners, policy-makers and MPs in England. For more information about the campaign and those involved please visit www.multipledisadvantageday.org