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SAHF Releases Culture of Caring Report and Mental and Behavioral Health Profiles

May 24, 2018

By Dr. Kamillah Wood | Senior Vice President, Health and Housing | Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future

May is Mental Health Month, when organizations from across many sectors join together to spread the word that mental health is something everyone should care about and is something that employers, service providers, and the medical community should be actively trying to support. During Mental Health Month, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) is proud to have released two new resources that contribute to our collective ability to better understand how we can do this.

The mental and behavioral health needs of seniors, families, and children are one of the most challenging issues to address due to limitations in access to care as well as more systemic factors causing toxic stress and trauma. In light of the demonstrated need and interest to address these issues, SAHF has created a series of health profiles that highlight the practices and unique collaboration strategies of SAHF member resident service work in supporting the mental health needs of the residents they serve. From creative community partnerships that foster trauma informed strategies to leveraging technology that reduces social isolation for seniors, these SAHF member vignettes demonstrate the tremendous value of service-enriched housing in addressing the mental and behavioral health needs of vulnerable populations.

As a collaborative, SAHF is also committed to supporting the critical front-line staff, including resident service coordinators and property managers, to ensure that they can provide the highest quality of services to residents. With a growing conversation around addressing mental and behavioral health needs, SAHF members are keenly aware of the many issues that residents face including domestic violence, toxic stress, and neighborhood safety concerns; but also understand the many stressors that affect the staff who interact with residents on their properties. Front-line staff frequently absorb and internalize deep stress and trauma from the communities they work in; impacting their own health, happiness, and effectiveness in their jobs. To help create greater capacity to address this issue, SAHF has created a resource guide that provides a collection of tools for affordable housing organizations to address the mental and behavioral health needs of front-line staff. This Culture of Caring: Compendium of Self-Care Tools and Workforce Support Principles for Front-Line Staff in Service-Enriched Housing provides active links to a variety of resources that focus on individual interventions as well as corporate level strategies. From self-care programs to workforce development and trauma informed approaches, this toolkit works to promote effective, sustainable and practical solutions to address the mental and behavioral health needs of front-line staff that ensures the success of the organization, staff and residents.