The Centre for Mental Health, in association with MHPF and Royal College of Psychiatrists, have produced a literature review entitled “More than Shelter”, which reviews evidence about the provision of supported housing services for people with mental health problems in England. The report highlights the significant links between housing and mental wellbeing, indicating that factors such as overcrowding, insufficient daylight and fear of crime all contribute to poorer mental health. The report emphasises that people using mental health services should get access to high quality housing support when they need it.
More than shelter states housing support should be a right for people with mental health problems, and a bigger priority for mental health services. It calls for improved provision of housing support with a wider range of services for as long as people need them. It argues that housing support should be funded jointly by local authorities and the NHS to ensure that services are delivered in partnership between health, housing and social care providers.
The report finds that there is very limited evidence about what kinds of support are most effective for people with mental health problems, but that most people prefer help in their own homes to being in sheltered or transitional accommodation.
More than shelter offers recommendations for mental health and housing policy, including:
- Recognising housing as a health intervention by mental health services;
- Providing a wide range of support to meet the different needs of people with mental health problems;
- Locating people who require support in safe and local neighbourhoods
The report can be read here.