Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

First year medical students visit Caritas Anchor House

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First year medical students visit Caritas Anchor House

24th April 2017
Caritas Anchor House has hosted a visit by first year medical students from Queen Mary’s University and St Bart’s Hospital.

As part of their ‘Medicine in Society’ module, the students were required to attend a community organisation, ahead of their work placements in the community. The visit focused on mental health and addiction, and they participated in a two hour session with our Operations Director and Mental Health Lead.

Caritas Anchor House shared their experience of navigating the space between service users, professionals and experts, and shared best practise in working with clients with those needs. This included having a person-centred, non-medical perspective, and ideas to trigger conversation about wellbeing.

The students also learnt about the core work of Caritas Anchor House, who provide a home and support to up to 250 homeless people each year. Over 50% have complex needs including mental health and substance misuse, who engage with our wellbeing programme which promotes better mental, physical and emotional wellbeing through a range of activities.

The students said that the visit to Caritas Anchor House was eye-opening and inspiring, and they were particularly touched by the stories of residents turning around their lives after a period of homelessness. They also reflected upon the link between mental health and homelessness, and the challenges faced in the health and social care sector.
Linda Maytum-Wilson, Acting Chief Executive at Caritas Anchor House, said “Those experiencing homelessness often require more than just housing; over half of our residents also require mental health and substance misuse support. These issues are undoubtedly linked, and in order to best support individuals, we need a holistic approach that supports the needs of the whole person, rather than address a single issue.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to share our knowledge and learnings of these issues with the students of Queen Mary’s University and St Bart’s Hospital, and look forward to developing our partnership in the future.”

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