People with mental health problems are at an increased risk of homelessness - Mind

Posted On: 
31st January 2019

With both the housing system and mental health services being squeezed, it is too often those in the most vulnerable situations who slip through the net, especially given the lack of suitable social housing, says Ellie White, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer at Mind.

The number of street homeless may have fallen very slightly since last year, but there is still a very long way to go and we’re concerned that we’re still seeing many more people sleeping rough today than in 2010. One person living on the streets is one too many. It’s appalling that so many people are sleeping on the streets. Everyone deserves a safe, stable and appropriate place to live. Homelessness isn’t just the people we can see sleeping on the streets though – it’s also those staying on sofas, in hostels or temporary accommodation, so these figures are just part of the picture.

Homelessness and mental health often go hand-in-hand. With both the housing system and mental health services being squeezed, it is too often those in the most vulnerable situations who slip through the net, especially given the lack of suitable social housing.

Social housing should be a lifeline for those who need it, and should allow more people to live independent lives, helping to keep people well in the long term. But cuts to funding for floating support services are leaving many people without the support they need to stay in their homes. On top of this, lots of people with mental health problems for example tell us that stigmatising attitudes from some housing providers are making it really difficult to find appropriate, or even any social housing. We’re concerned that this stigma, and a lack of support, mean people with mental health problems are at an increased risk of homelessness.

That’s why on Tuesday (5 February), Mind is going to parliament. We’ll be bringing together MPs, the housing sector, and people who have experienced poor mental health as a result of their housing situation, to make sure that the needs of people with mental health problems are firmly at the heart of the Government’s plans for social housing.”

Read more about Mind’s campaigning work in the area here.