Mental health problems can take many forms, from anxiety and depression, to bipolar disorder and psychosis. Each year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. For some people it can have a devastating and lasting effect, especially if they do not get the right support at the time they need it most.

Homelessness and poor mental health often go hand in hand. The onset of mental illness can trigger, or be part of, a series of events that can lead to homelessness, while poor housing or the stress of being homeless can increase the chances of developing a mental health problem or exacerbate an existing condition.

Approximately 70 per cent of single homeless people are estimated to have mental health needs. Depression rates are 10 times higher in the homeless population than among the general public and single homeless people are 11 times more likely to use acute mental health services.

Complex trauma is also common among homeless people. For some, this could mean an abusive childhood or for others, experiencing domestic violence. In most cases problems are not addressed and dealt with early on, which can often be due to stigma around talking about mental health.

Serious mental illness is often accompanied by substance misuse problems - also known as dual diagnosis. Many people who have a dual diagnosis find themselves locked out of traditional services, and so there are further barriers to recovery.


Read more about our mental health services


All that I kept getting told was that I had a dual diagnosis. I didn’t even know what that meant. 

When Lisa was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, she was unable to get the help she needed because of her substance addiction. Being referred to us was a turning point. She is now volunteering, and has reconnected with her family. 


Read Lisa's story