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Charities Urge For Improved Mental Health For Homeless


Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 Charities Urge For Improved Mental Health For Homeless

Leading charities are urging for better mental health care for the homeless with reference to a BBC report (04 04 09). Recent predictions according to experts argue that the recession could lead to a rise in the number of homelessness.

Both Crisis and St Mungo’s have requested that there should be improved access to specialist services as a consequence of the higher rates of problems reported.

Furthermore, via research it has been established that inexcess of a third of people in hostels suffer severe mental health problems.

In reality, once other conditions such as anxiety and depression have been identified, there are as many as between 8-10 affected by mental health issues.

In addition it is understood that charities who support homeless argue that they are given very little to no help.

Essentially, one key component to be identified is that being registered homeless also means that because of a lack of address, homeless people are less likely to be registered with a doctor.

Notwithstanding, campaigners have called for mental health specialists to run outreach clinics in hostels as well as greater access to drop-in centres.

Discussions over the next 10 weeks with other homeless services are now being planned, Both NHS experts and social services are to establisdh what can be achieved before the publication of its full report.

Moreover, whilst the number of of rough sleepers has been declining in recent years, it has been estimated that there are roughly about 800 people still on the streets at any one given time within the UK.

It has also been estimated that these figures will increase over the next few months as more and more people struggle with the currenct financial situation.

Notably, Charles Fraser, St Mungo’s chief executive has 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.”

Equally, the head of Crisis Leslie Morphy adds, “The link between homelessness and mental health problems is well known.

“Yet, despite all the evidence, we still do not have the right services and support in place to address what is both such a common cause and consequence of homelessness.”

But the Department of Health said funding for mental health services had been increasing and local health bosses were investing some of this into care for homeless people.

“Many trusts now have successful community outreach teams that work with hard to reach people such as the homeless.”

Though it remains to be stated that County Durham council has signed an agreement to join forces with local agencies to help prevent homelessness back in December 08.

Based on a national model of joint working Darlington Borough Council will work with the Citizens Advice Bureau and local housing charity First Stop.

Together they will provide advice, assistance and support to those who are homeless or those at risk.

Mike Hill, chief executive of Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “This is an important example of partnership working in Darlington to improve the lives of people who get into difficulties.

“By agreeing to this strategy, we can help more people more quickly and minimise the misery that homelessness would bring.”

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