The Alexandra Wellbeing House
The Alexandra Wellbeing House provides a safe, therapeutic environment for adults with mental health challenges who need up to two weeks support and advice from Wellbeing Support Staff. Individuals are referred to as ‘Guests’ to reflect the non-clinical, relaxing atmosphere of the service. Each Guest will be allocated their own private bedroom and there are also several communal areas and shared facilities such as, the living room, kitchen, crafts room, outdoor garden space and summer house.
The Alexandra Wellbeing House is located within the centre of Gloucester and was officially opened by the Countess of Wessex in July 2017. ‘The Alex’ is a partnership project between Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. The service is also supported by NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Our aim is to support Guests to develop wellbeing and safety plans to help prevent further deterioration, which may result in a mental health crisis and hospital admission.
We also aim to provide a stepping stone following discharge from hospital to help Guests to return to the community if they have their own secure accommodation.
A Much-Needed Break
Submitted by A Guest of The Alexandra Wellbeing House
Following my five-year battle against suicidal depression, and the early shoots of my recovery, I was in the Cavern one evening talking to one of the staff members when I said that I wish that I could get referred to Alexandra Wellbeing House.
This was the start for me, as within 24 hours I had a phone call from Alexandra Wellbeing known as “The Alex” for an assessment and a tour of the building. My stay began a week later, the Alex is self-catering and sleeps up to five people, the shared kitchen is fully equipped which means that to show respect to others its always best to clean up after yourself, apart from this it was a great place to meet others, to have a break from the pressures of life. The cost is £3 per night and a suggested stay is around two weeks other than this the Alex is a great place to relax with time to think, staff are on hand to talk too at times of stress, also further information on helplines are in the bedside Guests handbook that also covers the rules, this can be found in all bedrooms along with guests Wellbeing personal journal that I chose to fill in every evening, but is optional to the individual, the journal is for you to keep when you leave, but forms part of your review, you are reviewed three
times during your stay, when you arrive, during your first week and at the end of your stay. Staff used the 5 ways to Wellbeing plan to Support me during my stay with possible Goals that I hoped to achieve. Also, a Wellbeing phone call is arranged to you between one and three weeks after you leave to check that you are OK and to offer any further assistance. Things to do at the Alex during your stay are games and puzzles, or you can watch TV, or help like I did in the garden, I found it very therapeutic watering the garden in the morning and evening also helping to make planters. Any vegetables grown in the garden that can be made use of can be used during your stay.
All the people I met during my stay were helpful and interesting, staff were exceptional when on duty, support was very good. I felt that it was important to have someone who was willing Liston to me at times of stress. This made my stay very special.
I also did a great deal of experimental photography during my stay and went for a few short walks too, if you are away from the Alex for some time, staff give you a welfare phone call to check you are alright, and this was very welcome as I use walking and cycling as a way of wearing off depression. My cooking as a vegetarian became the subject during my stay as some of my fellow guests found some of my recipes helpful and interesting. There are also recipe books in the kitchen to use covering a wide range of cooking
The Alex covers Gloucestershire only, however once you leave the Alex then following your stay you can return after three months, should you feel the need. For further information https://www.2gether.nhs.uk/locations/alexandra-wellbeing-house/
Alexandra Wellbeing House is jointly run between 2gether NHS Trust and Swindon & Gloucestershire Mind.