Time to bridge the gap in mental health support for homeless people

World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day

As homelessness rises in the UK, seven out of ten people who are homeless report having one or more mental health need. However, a third of them say they lack the support they need to address their mental health(1).*

Homeless Link is marking this year’s World Mental Health Day and World Homeless Day (Monday 10 Oct) with the launch of their Homelessness, Mental Health and Wellbeing Guide.
 
The guide responds to research by Homeless Link, the umbrella organisation for 500 homeless charities, which shows that people who are homeless are not getting the support they need to address their mental health problems.
 
Further research into the complex needs of people who are homeless has also shown that four in five people who are homeless report a history of anxiety or depression and over a third say they have attempted suicide(2).* 
 
The online guide aims to bridge the gap in support needs by aiding frontline homelessness staff and managers in their work with people with mental health and wellbeing needs. It is made up of five sections that aim to increase their confidence and awareness of homelessness, mental health and wellbeing issues. It includes:
 
practical tools and case study examples
wellbeing resources to support individuals accessing services
example protocols and good practice tips for working with mental health agencies.
 
Jenny Edwards CBE, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, says:
 
Mental health issues affect seven in ten homeless people, compared to one in four of the general population. Building good relationships between the health and homelessness sectors is therefore key if we are to improve access to the right services for individuals. 

“We must also work to improve practice to ensure services are equipped to provide the personalised care that people who are homeless often need to live happy and fulfilled lives.”
 
The guide is available now on the Homeless Link website.