England has seen an increasing number of individuals who are homeless, have drug or alcohol problems, or are repeat offenders. Often occurring together, this combination is often called ‘severe and multiple disadvantages.’
Individuals with severe and multiple disadvantage experience poor mental and physical health alongside various forms of stigma. This results in negative experiences when accessing health services, such as mental health and addiction supports.
The stigma and barriers to accessing mental health and addiction supports makes it harder for individual to get the required treatment. In times of crisis, access to health and social services often becomes more difficult. For individuals who already experience major challenges, times of uncertainty and poor service access can further complicate matters.
This study aims to explore and understand access to community-based mental health and addiction services within Newcastle and Gateshead from the perspective of both severe and multiple disadvantage service users and providers.
Collaborating with national and local charities, peer researchers will conduct interviews with service users and providers. Data will be iteratively analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis and thematic analysis. Findings will be interpreted in collaboration with peer researchers.
Through providing a voice for frontline staff and an often-neglected service user population, this study will help inform the development of future strategies and responses by providers and policy makers. Furthermore, the findings will shed light on inequalities and barriers to access for community-based mental health and addiction supports.