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It’s estimated that about 46% of Australians, aged between the ages of 16 and 85, may experience mental health issues at some point in their lives. Also, about 3% of the population has experienced severe mental health conditions.

Mental illness can have a major impact on the quality of life and make living alone difficult. 

Many assume that mental illness isn’t as limiting as a physical impairment—this isn’t true. The psychological effect these illnesses have on an individual can be crippling if they are not given the support they need.

Anyone can develop mental illness, and in many cases, their family and friends may not understand their situation. If the person under your care has been showing signs of a mental health condition, you’ll need to find a way to support them.

Mental health supported accommodations are housing solutions where individuals with mental illness can stay and be given the support they need to get back on their feet. Here’s some more insight into these services.

The impact of mental illness on an individual

Before we go deeper into mental health supported accommodations, we need to understand how mental illness would make an individual need these services.

A mental illness is a diagnosable clinically condition that affects a person’s thinking, behaviour and how they interact with others and their environment. These conditions can dramatically affect the way a person functions in various aspects of their lives.

It isn’t just their home life that’s affected, people with mental illness may have difficulties with their careers and may alienate themselves from their community. Some individuals may even experience homelessness due to their illness.

While people with more common types of mental illness, such as depression and anxiety can manage their daily lives through medication and therapy, some mental illnesses require more support.

More severe mental health conditions like schizophrenia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (This link will take you to a page on the Better Health website about PTSD), also called PTSD, can affect how an individual perceives reality, and cause behavioural patterns that could make it difficult for them to live on their own or maintain job stability. 

Fortunately, both of these conditions are treatable.

For people with severe mental health conditions, living in a supported accommodation may help manage their illness and other aspects of their lives.

Why choose mental health accommodations

Aside from support for daily tasks, there are a few other reasons why a support accommodation is most suitable for a person with mental illness.

Calm environment

Noisy surroundings can make individuals with mental health issues feel very uncomfortable and this may lead to anxiety. Support accommodations are quiet spaces that are designed to minimise noise and keep residents calm.

Safety

These accommodations are designed with safety in mind. For instance, they include furnishings without sharp edges to prevent cuts and accessibility fittings for individuals with physical impairment.

Also, these places have adequate security to ensure that the residents are safe from harm at all times.

Recreational areas

Support accommodations feature recreational areas where residents can socialise with others. 

In many cases, people with mental illness isolate themselves from others, so these recreation areas may give them a chance to start socialising again or develop their communication skills.

Benefits of mental health supported accommodations

The goal of these services is to help individuals with mental health issues express their individuality and live their best lives. Over time, these services help them gradually integrate themselves into society.

These are some of the benefits the person under your care may expect from these services:

A supportive environment

If the person under your care has developed a mental health condition recently, you might not always understand what they’re going through. 

At these accommodations, the person under your care will be surrounded by people who’ve been through or worked with people with similar experiences. This will give them a sense of belonging and more confidence to open up about their difficulties.

These accommodations may also include peer support (This link will take you to a landing page on the Shine SC website about their peer support programmes) groups where the person under your care may use their experience to help others like them.

Getting back independence

Individuals who developed mental illness later in life due to age, trauma or a brain injury may lose confidence in living independently. 

In a supported accommodation, they’ll receive assistance in certain daily activities they’ve started having trouble with. This will help them regain their confidence until they can become independent again.

Medication support

Most individuals with mental illness need to take medication to manage their symptoms. In some cases, they may have the drive to follow through with their daily doses.

When living in supported accommodation, the person under your care’s health and medicine intake will be monitored carefully to ensure they take their prescriptions on time.

Sharing experiences

By sharing their experiences with mental illness, the person under your care can help others at the accommodation deal with their conditions. Also, sharing experiences is a good way to meet new people and form strong relationships.

Recovery from addiction

Staying in a supported accommodation is an effective way for individuals who have developed mental illness as a result of trauma to recover. 

Sometimes, individuals with mental illness may develop bad habits, like alcoholism and drug addiction. These accommodations deny access to these vices, helping people overcome their addiction.

Speak to support accommodation providers

Experiencing a mental illness can be a very difficult time for individuals with mental illness. But with the right kind of support, you can help the person under your care recover and make the best out of their situation.

Get in touch with your local support accommodation providers to learn more about these services and what more you can do to help the person under your care.

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