Association of Mental Health Providers

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Webinar with Homeless Link – Homelessness, Mental Health, and Prevention

Webinar Date: Thursday 27 June 2019
Delivered by: Caroline Bernard

This webinar, with Caroline Bernard from Homeless Link, will provide a short overview of the current mental health prevention landscape in relation to people who are homeless, highlighting specific issues that people who are experiencing homelessness face and outlines the VCSE sector’s role in preventing the onset, development and deterioration of mental health conditions, promoting good mental health, reducing inequalities and the structural barriers to better mental health.

Many people experiencing homelessness have support needs other than their need for housing, including physical health problems, drug and alcohol issues, and diagnosed and undiagnosed mental health needs are particularly prevalent. The high levels of co-morbidities among people who are homeless are one of the major barriers to accessing health and social services and maintaining housing. Rates of diagnosed mental health issues are nearly double that of the general population. In particular, the incidence of depression among people who are homeless is substantially higher and psychosis is up to 15 times as high. A significant proportion of people who are homeless also have other mental health problems including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Homeless Linkis the national membership organisation representing providers supporting people who experience or who are at risk of homelessness, people with multiple and complex needs and people who are vulnerable and living in poor accommodation or who require supported accommodation – all of whom experience the most significant health inequalities. The organisation is England-wide, has over 700 members and a mandate to represent homelessness and supported housing organisations. As the voice of the sector with an excellent reputation for representing the views of members and people using their services, Homeless Link amplify these views by sitting on a number of strategic forums including the National Mental Health and Housing Forum, where their expertise, voice and influence is valued and recognised. We also sit on the Mayor of London’s No Night Sleeping Rough Mental Health Sub-Group. Homeless Link is a partner and host organisation of the Making Every Adult Matter programme, which includes Mind and Clinks.