Mental health

Many homeless people also have emotional and mental health problems. Mental ill-health can make independent living very difficult and contributes to homelessness and difficulties with finding accommodation. In addition, being homeless and not having somewhere safe and secure to stay can actually make people more vulnerable to mental health problems.

Securing accommodation is often a key step in dealing with mental health problems. However, once a homeless person with mental health problems has been resettled, mental ill-health can severely affect the ability to sustain a tenancy unless care and support is readily available.

Some mentally vulnerable and homeless people who tend to have less acute mental health problems get trapped in a "revolving door" - a cyclical pattern of recurring homelessness, hospital admissions and contact with the criminal justice system.

Some hostels for homeless people are not able to accept people with mental health problems as they do not have staffing available to meet their support needs. Homeless people with Dual Diagnosis who have mental health problems and alcohol/drug problems face particular difficulties in finding accommodation or help and support to meet their needs.

In recent years, some homelessness organisations and mental health agencies have developed day and residential services for homeless people with mental health problems. Multi-disciplinary mental health teams have been set up as part of, or in response to the Department of Health's Homeless Mentally Ill Initiative, which aims to work with homeless people who are currently out of touch with mainstream services and provide a direct service to homeless people at a variety of locations.

Titlesort icon Author Publisher Year
A Four-point Manifesto for Tackling Multiple Needs and Exclusions Making Every Adult Matter Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) 2009
A Place in Mind: Commissioning and Providing Mental Health Services for People who are Homeless Williams, R (ed) and Avebury, K (ed) Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) 1995
A-Z of Employment and Mental Health Grimshaw, Catherine Mind National Association for Mental Health 1997
Access to Support to Prevent Homelessness: Proposal for the Housing Bill Shelter Scotland Shelter Scotland 2010
Accommodation Advice Factsheets Mind National Association for Mental Health Mind National Association for Mental Health 2001
Aiming Higher: A Good Practice Guide Revolving Doors Agency Revolving Doors Agency 2010
An Accommodation Self Assessment Toolkit for the Socially Excluded Adults Public Service Agreement Communities and Local Government Communities and Local Government 2009
An Assessment of the Need for Psychiatric Bail Provision in Inner London Kennedy, Keyes and Truman Revolving Doors Agency 1994
Associations Between Migrancy, Health and Homelessness: A Cross-Sectional Study Tompkins, Charlotte et al Wiley-Blackwell 2003
Beyond Help? Homeless Link Homeless Link 1997
Camden and Islington Service Mapping Final Report Keyes, Scott and Truman Revolving Doors Agency 1998
Case for Change Revolving Doors Agency Revolving Doors Agency 2010
Catching People Who Fall Through the Net: The Elmore Team's Work with Rough Sleepers in Oxford Elmore Team and Shelter Elmore Community Services 2006
Checklist on health for local authorities or PCTs working on their homelessness strategy (brief) Gorton, S Crisis 2003
Climbing Everest Naked Chandler, Tracey and Cresdee, Sarah University of Brighton: Health and Social Policy Research Centre 2008
Crisis Policy Briefing: Introduction to Homelessness & Housing Crisis Crisis 2010
Crisis' Submission to St Mungo's Call for Evidence on Mental Health and Street Homelessness Crisis Crisis 2009
Double Exposure: Addressing the Needs of Homeless Women with Mental Illness Croft-White, Clare and Parry-Cooke, Georgie Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health 1996
Down and Out? The Final Report of St Mungo's Call 4 Evidence: Mental Health and Street Homelessness St Mungo's St Mungo's 2009
Down Your Street Warner, L, Ford, R, Bagnall, S, Morgan, S, McDaid, C and Mawhinney, S Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health 1998