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A PIE organisation is designed to meet the emotional and psychological needs of service users in order to empower them to make positive changes in their lives.

St Basils became one of the first Psychologically Informed Environments or ‘PIEs’ in 2011, in recognition that homeless young people were increasingly struggling with mental health problems, had experience of trauma and abuse and presented with challenging behaviours.

As part of being in a PIE organisation, all staff take part in PIE Foundation Training; with managers and frontline staff completing an intensive three day training package to ensure that they have the attitude, knowledge and skills to collaborate with the young people they support.  Additional to training is a Reflective Practice strategy which means that all managers and front-line staff attend groups to embed PIE learning and gain support with mental health issues.  Distinctively, a key feature of the St Basils’ model is that all trainers and facilitators are experienced Clinical Psychologists with knowledge of mental health, neuroscience and PIE tools.

Evidence is building to support the learning that this approach enables staff to help young people build confidence and resilience, so they are better equipped to tackle the challenges they face in order to achieve long-lasting and positive change.  In partnership with the University of Birmingham, evaluation of the St Basils PIE model are in progress, investigating the strengths of the model, the economic impact, as well as constant learning to inform continuous development.  As well as supporting positive outcomes for young people, PIE has been found to have benefits for staff and across the organisation as a whole.