New research proves poor mental health and homelessness are inextricably linked

by | Jan 26, 2023 | News

Depaul and Simon Community NI have launched new research that highlights the significant inter-relationship between mental health and homelessness.

In the study conducted with people across Northern Ireland experiencing homelessness, almost 70% had a diagnosed mental health condition. The overwhelming majority (84%) had received this diagnosis before becoming homeless.

The report ‘Mental Health & Homelessness’ identifies homelessness as more than a housing issue, but the consequence of multiple disadvantages, with mental health both playing a role and having an impact. It reveals a catastrophic situation that cannot be ignored.

The report calls on politicians and decision makers to stop thinking that homelessness is just a housing issue, but identify it as a fundamental health issue that requires urgent action.

Depaul Chief Executive David Carroll said, “The reality of providing support for people experiencing homelessness is that it needs to be multifaceted. It requires much more than just housing related support, which is why we are also calling for additional investment to enable staff from homeless providers to be trained on Trauma Informed Care, to better support the complexity of needs and issues experienced by people within homelessness services.”

Northern Ireland Mental Health Champion Professor Siobhan O’Neill said: “It is essential that people can access the right support at the right time. There needs to be a specific action plan for people experiencing homelessness within the Mental Health Strategy.

Support within the Department of Health should also be streamlined to provide timely interventions for people experiencing homelessness with additional issues.”

You can read the full report here.


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