Mental health

We know that people with mental health needs can and do recover – this belief is crucial to how we deliver supported housing and care.

Mental ill health affects one in four people at some stage in their lives, and people’s experiences vary greatly.

We design and deliver recovery-focused and person-centred services with our health partners. We support individuals to live in the community and keep moving forwards on their recovery journey.

Our services

We are proud to be one of the largest providers of specialist mental health support services across London and the South East. Every year we support over 1400 people across our 40 mental health services at all stages of the care pathway. Our wide range of services includes:

Our Crisis and Recovery Houses provide alternatives to acute hospital admission for individuals experiencing a crisis or relapse in their mental health. Delivered in partnership with clinical teams, they provide 24 hour short-term, intensive support, providing a credible community-based alternative to inpatient care.

Our rehabilitation and step-down accommodation-based services help people bridge the gap from in-patient, secure or care settings to living independently in their own homes. They often support people who have been living in institutions or out of borough, sometimes for several years.

We deliver forensic step-down services for individuals with high mental health needs and forensic histories who may be leaving secure or forensic care settings. Our expert and specialist teams deliver 24-hour accommodation-based safe and responsive services support in partnership with clinical teams and statutory agencies.

Our medication support teams provide one-to-one support to people in their own homes, helping  individuals to develop the awareness, skills and routines to manage their own medication needs. Our teams visit daily (sometimes more) to deliver, observe or administer medication, and work closely with clinical teams, stepping support up or down as customers’ needs change.

Most individuals we work with are helped within our supported housing services. This includes accommodation-based hostel and floating support services.

Different accommodation-based services offer different levels of support – from intensive 24 hour supported housing for those leaving care or hospital, to medium and low-level support where customers typically move on within two years. As a registered social landlord, we can provide these services in our own buildings or properties owned by others.

Our floating support services provide flexible support to people with mental health needs in their own homes, helping them to manage and maintain their tenancies and stay well, active and meaningfully involved living in their community.

Our NHS offer helps to keep people in their own homes rather than in supported living or hospital.

We offer a range of services including:

  • Medication management for those who need some support to take medicine in their own home
  • Long-term condition support for example for people living with diabetes
  • Community connectors services – a service to help Community Mental Health Teams bridge the gap between hospital and discharge into the community. Our team are a vital component of hospital multi-disciplinary teams
  • LIFT GP service – working with GPs to help them to manage patients with mental health challenges and long-term health conditions. According to recent research from MIND as many as two in five patients now visit their GP about a mental health concern. GPs need a solution
  • GP/nurses in services – many of our homelessness services have GPs and nursing services operating from them. Improving the lives of many people who might not otherwise be able to access medical help
  • Hospital discharge services – we work with NHS Trusts to provide Look Ahead Housing and Advice workers based in hospital wards working alongside clinicians to help avoid delayed hospital discharge due to patients having housing or social issues.

Some examples of where we are working alongside our partners in the NHS

  •  Offering support with medication concordance – this service works alongside the Independent Personal Support Alliance to provide support for people who are on medication for both mental health and physical conditions
  • LIFT CMHT service – Our specialist mental health support workers work alongside the Community Mental Health teams (CMHTs) in Lambeth. This service is aimed at people that, despite improved mental health, are still seen as too vulnerable to be discharged from secondary care
  • LIFT GP – This is a service that works with patients with serious mental illness and long-term health conditions. Our team, based in the local community, are able to bridge the gap between health and social care. We have a community psychiatric nurse based within our service which means we are able to act quickly if a patient needs immediate help. 

Our approach

We have over 40 years experience of supporting people to make choices, take control and move forwards with their lives through our Look Ahead approach, providing services that are personalised, co-produced and delivered in partnership with health.

We working across the full mental health pathway, developing solutions with clinicians and local authorities to improve outcomes, reduce costs and prevent hospital admissions.

Across our mental health services we do this through our recovery approach, supporting each individual:

As a whole person, with their own strengths, goals and aspirations

With care and compassion, seeing beyond their clinical diagnosis

To build their self-awareness, skills, resilience, confidence and hope

To live a purposeful and satisfying life, that takes account of but is not limited by their needs or diagnosis

To focus on physical as well as mental wellbeing through our Mind Body Matters programme


"Being at Look Ahead is the first time I have ever had any support for my mental health needs. It’s great to have staff that you can talk to who won’t judge you."

Read Lisa's story