Graphic with URLs of the Shine a Light campaign and pic of Victoria Dingle
Soha resident and Board member Victoria Dingle (above) spoke at a Chartered Institute of Housing special event for Mental Health Awareness Week today.
Victoria represented the tenant’s view to housing practitioners at Mental Health Awareness Week: supporting tenants’ mental health. She was invited because of her involvement with the CIH’s Shine a Light campaign which published a report in the summer of last year. The report looked at different approaches to help organisations work sensitively and effectively to achieve good outcomes for both residents who may have mental health problems and the landlord.
The session was framed around initiatives to better support the mental health of communities, particularly through the very difficult past year, when housing providers have become more proactive. Victoria’s role was to talk about the difference a supportive service can mean. “I turned round the brief I was given”, says Victoria, “addressing some of the more unfortunate experiences tenants have told me about in the course of some of the national work I’ve done. I hope I conveyed the sentiment that the help I have had from Soha shouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary – although I fear that is not always the case.”
Having observed the mental health consequences of lockdown conditions, Soha is funding a part-time specialist support worker to work with residents who are struggling to maintain their tenancies because of their mental health. “I – and I’m sure my colleagues on the Shine a Light campaign as well – will be extremely interested to see how this initiative works out”, said Victoria.