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The Haven has a duty of care to its community members.

Duty of Care encompasses Inclusion, Diversity, Mental Health, Well-being and Safeguarding. It is also a Health & Safety issue.


We encourage autonomy, accountability & responsibility and we acknowledge that we are all adults at serious risk of relapse into addiction and/or mental health crisis which can be life limiting.

Addiction is a mental health condition called Substance Use Disorder.

Many of us use substances to manage our mental health conditions or life trauma. Complex needs refers to the co-existence of mental health matters, usually as a result of life trauma, and substance use including but not limited to alcohol and marijuana.


It is no exaggeration to say that as people with lived experience of trauma, isolation, mental health matters and addiction we are at greater risk of damaging our health and losing our life or liberty than the average person.


Risk factors: triggers for relapse include peer pressure, anxiety and stress that can lead to obsessive compulsive behaviours, delusional thinking, paranoia and self medication. We are often in denial about our behaviour and its consequences and impact on ourselves and others until it is too late.


Mental health relapse triggers include:

  • Stopping medication or not taking medication as prescribed.

  • Using drugs and/or alcohol.

  • Being under stress or overwhelmed.

  • Conflict in relationships.

  • Illness or death of a loved one.

  • Major life changes.

  • poor social support,

  • delay in seeking care

  • stigma against mental illness

  • genetic predisposition.

  • homelessness and unemployment.

  • Discrimination or racial injustice

  • family conflict or family disorganisation.

  • stressful life events.

Some signs to look for include:

  • Too much or too little sleep

  • Stopping medication, not taking it regularly or taking too much

  • Feeling tense, nervous, or hostile

  • Social withdrawal or isolation (not going to work, not answering phone messages or opening mail)

  • Decline in personal hygiene (not taking care of ourselves)

  • not eating properly (too little or too much or regular unhealthy choices)

  • Increase in paranoia, hallucinations, or hearing voices

  • Confusing or nonsensical speech

  • False beliefs or delusions (thinking people are against you, being overconfident in your abilities)

  • Increase in risk-taking behaviours (spending money, using alcohol/drugs)


Any tasks undertaken at the Haven should way up the probability and seriousness of harm occurring, this should include harm to mental health due to stress, anxiety, overwhelm and burn-out, all of which increase the likelihood of triggering certain conditions including but not limited to obsession, compulsion, controlling, grandiose, manic or delusional behaviour.


In order to limit the likelihood of these conditions occurring we encourage:


  • shared responsibility/collaboration

  • clear expectations and boundaries

  • Having wider social support networks that meet our individual recovery needs

  • open communication, Honest, transparent and clear

  • mutual support within the Haven community



Developing these skills and coping mechanisms can help us deal with everyday challenges.


It is important that we consider as a community:


How can we create a culture that offers mutual support and promotes accountability for our behaviour and the impact that it has on ourselves and others?


How do we support each other to avoid relapse and to prioritise physical, mental and spiritual wellness?

How do we have conversations that respect each other’s choices and yet challenge us to look after our mental and physical health?


If we have genuine concerns how can we ask each other to take a step back or look at ourselves?.


How can we hear and receive someone asking us to take a step back or look at ourselves ?


How do we learn to see and reflect on our own part in things ?


How can we trust that challenging conversations are not judgemental but coming from a place of compassionate concern and empathy?




This is not easy work.

It is however essential if we are to have a healthy functioning community culture.

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