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Friday 21st October 2016

Mental health help needed for homeless

6th April 2009

UK charities have said homeless people must be given more support in order to help them deal with mental health issues.


The recession has caused some experts to predict there will be an increase in the number of homeless people in the UK.

Crisis and St Mungo's charities said they had seen "high rates" of mental health issues and have appealed for better ways of getting the necessary support to homeless people.

Studies have shown that one third of people who use shelters had serious mental health problems. When other disorders such as depression were factored in, eight out of ten people were found to be affected.

The charities said it was difficult for homeless people to find help when many were not registered with a local doctor.

They said improved access could be provided by establishing outreach clinics in homeless shelters.

Around 800 people are estimated to be sleeping on the streets of the UK, with 40,000 living in temporary accommodation.

St Mungo's chief executive Charles Fraser said: "These are often the individuals with the most intractable problems, who need the most determined help and it is reprehensible they are not getting it."

However, the Department of Health said money had been used to improve mental health access: "Many trusts now have successful community outreach teams that work with hard to reach people such as the homeless."

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