How our Women Only service provides a safe space vital for recovery

About Bridge, Info for Commissioners

For some women with enduring mental health problems, forging a path back to independent living can be involuntarily disrupted by issues arising from their personal history. To provide the most appropriate support and the best chance of recovery, a woman only service can be what is needed.

For women who have experienced homelessness, rough sleeping, and domestic violence or other issues, trying to build trust when working with male support workers can trigger certain feelings and create hurdles on their recovery pathway. Whilst these may not be insurmountable, they can be an unwanted distraction and a drain on focus, energy, and resources and ultimately detrimental to their recovery.

Our Women Only services create a safe and supportive space, exclusively for women and free from avoidable trauma or distraction created when working with male support workers. Our clients are then able to completely focus resources, both theirs and ours, on recovery and develop the skills and resilience they need to be able to live independent, fulfilled lives in the community.

The importance of a safe and supported space  

There are very few mental health community support services solely for women in the country and ours is the only one within the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

For many women having a safe, habitable space to call home supported by an all-female mental health professional team can be instrumental in a successful recovery.

Our purpose-built facility provides safe accommodation and a stable environment exclusively for women aged 18 to 65 years old. It offers onsite support from 9am to 9pm with an on-call service throughout the night, providing peace of mind and reassurance to our clients round the clock.

Our women only service follows the same ethos as our other services which is to create a support package to meet each client’s needs, whatever stage they are at with their recovery which evolves with them as their recovery journey does.

The client owned support plan takes centre stage in each recovery journey. Each client and dedicated support worker work together to determine the agreed steps and the level and type of support required to achieve them. The strength of these working relationships is fundamental to success.

The women only program focuses on helping each client build the skills and resilience they need to successfully live independently. Our support is wide ranging and individually tailored to clients’ specific needs.

Whether help is needed to establish and maintain a tenancy with support from our Housing Management service, or guidance and support from our Recovery College is what is required to access training, education, and/or volunteering opportunities.

Whatever is required we aim to provide the right support, drawing on our wide range of community services and our network from within the local mental health community.

The essentialness of Women Only support 

Without women-only services such as ours, there is a risk that for many women the path to recovery will be longer and potentially strewn with further trauma resulting in less assurance of a successful outcome.

The impact of past traumas when navigating recovery must not be underestimated. It is imperative clients feel safe and supported to give them the greatest chance to build the skills and resilience they need to return to independent living.

We are immensely proud of each of our clients, and we boast a high percentage moving on from our women only service to living independently in their own council accommodation after just approximately 2.5 years.

There is a very real need for more women only services such as this. Exposing women who have experienced trauma with men through homelessness, rough sleeping, and domestic violence into a support environment where they need to build trust with male support workers is not always the best route to a successful recovery. A bespoke, women only support service can be the more effective, economic, and quicker path back to independent living.

Please help us raise awareness about this by sharing this post with your network. For more information about our women only service or our community mental health services, please visit our website, or contact us. Thank you for your support.  

Visit us on social media

11 hours ago
Vulnerable veterans of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq living in supported housing at the UK’s largest barracks are set to lose help with #mentalhealth problems, triggering fears of a return to homelessness and lost lives. https://t.co/SF0eGN7B6j #bridgesupport https://t.co/nekzoCqRHF BridgeMH photo
1 day ago
Delays in discharging #mentalhealth patients were highlighted in a recent Care Quality Commission report at St Thomas' Hospital following an unannounced inspection. It acknowledged the increase in both demand and complexity of cases since the pandemic. https://t.co/sJTsIfniu8 https://t.co/GMDzEWMpys BridgeMH photo
4 days ago
Results from our Forensic Support Services show ex-offenders with #mentalhealth problems thrive in a community setting, and with the right frameworks in place, community mental health services can be safe, successful, and cost-effective. #bridgesupport https://t.co/YzfK6RsdWb https://t.co/t4k70g1WFS BridgeMH photo
5 days ago
With the right experienced support, there is an alternative for people in an acute #mentalhealth crisis who would otherwise require hospital admission. Could our dedicated Bridge Back Home Team get you home? #bridgesupport
Learn more here: https://t.co/VAtvn0RYoz https://t.co/pc0x8FPsp7
BridgeMH photo
6 days ago
A decline in vital life skills and a diminished capacity to live independently are just some of the repercussions of residing in expensive hospital #mentalhealth units for far longer than necessary. Our 24-hour support offers an alternative pathway. https://t.co/pgYwrwJDGz https://t.co/cUdHV3R7Po BridgeMH photo
1 week ago
The NHS was told all serious #mentalhealth patients need their own rooms 20 years ago, but over 1,000 beds remain in dormitory-style wards in use today; compromising patient privacy, sleep, and safety. https://t.co/uiO9i52F7m #MentalHealthMatters https://t.co/Q0QPW4Jr4p BridgeMH photo

24 Hour Support

Medium Support

Flexible Community Support

Forensic Services

Recovery College

Women Only

How you can work with us

As well as the normal tendering process, you can commission our forensic services in the following ways:

  • Use our contact form
  • Pick up the phone to speak to us on 020 8298 9677
  • Email us to discuss spot contracting OR delivery of a bespoke service that meets your needs