Homelessness: Mental Health

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the effect of long-term homelessness on mental health.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on matters of mutual departmental interest, including through the Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce.

We recognise that poor mental health can both contribute to, and be exacerbated by, homelessness and rough sleeping. Having stable and appropriate housing is invaluable for people living with a long-term mental health problem. We also know that rough sleeping can exacerbate existing, underlying mental health conditions and can result in a mental health crisis.

In 2018/19 the Department for Health and Social Care will provide up to £2 million in health funding to test models of community-based provision designed to enable access to health and support services for people who are sleeping rough. This will include services to support people with both mental ill health and substance misuse issues. We are undertaking a rapid audit of provision targeted at people who sleep rough that can be used to inform future commissioning decisions. The Department for Health and Social Care has asked NHS England to spend up to £30 million on health services for people who sleep rough, over the next five years.

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