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Early identification and prevention

When people are close to reaching crisis point, or when their lives are chaotic and affected by multiple disadvantage, they may repeatedly make contact with emergency services, or be at risk of entering the criminal justice system. In many cases, these services aren’t equipped to provide the support they need.

Distress often occurs alongside a range of other disadvantaging factors including substance misuse, trauma, abuse or homelessness. It can be difficult for individuals experiencing these things to navigate and negotiate through a fragmented, disjointed system with competing services and resources.

Our Pathways services provide holistic assessments of each individual’s needs, addressing both practical and psychological aspects in order to tackle the problems at the root of a person’s distress. We work strategically with the emergency services and other key organisations to develop ways in which they can work together more effectively and as a result help prevent individuals from reaching crisis point.

Each person we support is encouraged to identify the three hardest things that are currently making their lives difficult. Our staff team then works with them to build their own resources and resilience in order to overcome these issues. By focusing on people’s strengths and providing support that helps them to build positive relationships and networks, they will be better equipped to cope with life’s challenges, manage their mental wellbeing and ultimately reduce their use of emergency services.

The Pathways approach operates at three distinct and complementary levels:

  • With the individual on the ground
  • With the services already supporting them
  • With the wider system as a whole

We work with people who are experiencing any level of mental distress and we are not bound by diagnosis. Similarly, we recognise that mental distress does not occur in isolation, and our practitioners are equipped to support individuals not only with mental distress but with issues such as learning disability or difficulties, substance misuse problems, homelessness and offending behaviour.

“When Together’s mental health practitioner came out to see me, she was really nice and said she could help me feel better and help me sort things out. I wanted help to deal with my depression, sort my flat out and look for a job. The Pathways service have taken me to lots of appointments and assessments for my mental health, and they are now going to help me try and move house. I want to move to a nicer area where there is no trouble.” Pathways service user.

Partnership working is at the core of Pathways and we use our strong track record and expertise in this area to continue to facilitate this.

Our Pathways service in Rotherham supports young adults experiencing mental distress who are entering the criminal justice system or at risk of first arrest. Our service in York supports those in distress who are frequently coming into contact with emergency services.

For more information about our Pathways model, please contact Sarah Owen-Rafferty on 020 7780 7382.