Homelessness: Mental Health

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 12th November 2020.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

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 Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

We know that the causes of homelessness are multiple and complex and that this is not solely a housing issue. Many individuals experiencing homelessness have co-occurring mental health and substance misuse support needs.

During the pandemic, we have worked closely with local authorities, local health partnerships and the homelessness sector to offer vulnerable people safe accommodation and support. That work is ongoing and in September we had successfully supported over 29,000 people, with 10,000 in emergency accommodation and nearly 19,000 provided with settled accommodation or move on support.

This support includes working closely with Public Health England and NHS England to ensure that arrangements are in place so that individuals’ health and care needs can be met, including ensuring that they are registered with GPs and that mental health assessments are carried out where appropriate.

More broadly, the Department for Health and Social Care is delivering £30 million to 2023/24 from NHS England in the Long Term Plan to fund up to 20 areas for specialist mental health services for people sleeping rough.

MHCLG continues to work closely with the DHSC to work to better understand how we can support the mental health needs of this vulnerable group.

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