Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Relationships: Mental Health Awareness Week 2016

Our News in Brief

Relationships: Mental Health Awareness Week 2016

16th May 2016
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW) runs from 16 – 22 May and is focusing on relationships.

Relationships are fundamental to our health and wellbeing, and good relationships can help us live longer and happier lives with fewer mental and physical health problems. At Caritas Anchor House, many of the people we support have difficulty in forming and maintaining relationships, whether that be as a result of substance misuse, mental health needs, offending or a combination of these. The breakdown of a relationship is also a key cause of homelessness. We therefore continually provide support and activities to help our residents maintain and establish good relations.

Upon arrival, our residents are asked to analyse their ability to manage their relationships and social networks and if this is an area of need, they receive support from their Lifestyle Architect to overcome this. We also provide volunteer opportunities and host events which all of our residents are able to attend that promote interaction and social engagement in a positive and structured way.

Such activities have included a table tennis tournament which saw staff and residents compete together and a pamper day, whilst our Wellbeing Programme seeks to address the Five Ways to Wellbeing as defined by mental health charity Mind. We have worked in partnership with the Sarah Agnes Foundation, a mental health charity dedicated to improving the wellbeing of individuals, couples and families, to deliver a Positive Relationships Workshop that promoted the role counselling can have when working through complex relationships.

We also offer our residents the chance to attend a three day mindfulness retreat at Abbotswick, which helps to reinforce the work of our Wellbeing Programme. During the retreat, residents take part in group activities which encourage bonding, and it offers a chance for self-reflection.

Keith Fernett, Chief Executive of Caritas Anchor House said “Having good relationships are essential to leading a happy and healthy life. As many of our residents have relationships needs, it is vital that we provide a safe space and opportunities to allow them to develop good relationships, and repair damaged ones. Many of our residents go on to rebuild key relationships outside of Caritas Anchor House due to the levels of trust and understanding they have regained through our support.”      


Caritas Anchor House offers a range of activities to promote healthy physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Check out our infographic to see how many of our residents engaged with our activities in our latest reporting period, from 01 January - 31 March 2016.   

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