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More assistance for homelessness and mental health needed

By Jane Fazackarley     Apr 5, 2009 in Health
Homelessness charities based in the United Kingdom say that people living on the streets aren't getting the help they need to deal with mental illness.
Some are warning that the financial climate could lead to an increased rate of homelessness. Now two charities, Crisis and St Mungo's are asking for better availability to the services needed because of the increase of such problems.
According to recent research up to a third of people living in hostels have serious mental health issues including personality disorders. If mental health problems such as depression and anxiety are also included than this means eight of ten people who are homeless have a mental illness.
The main issue as to why people living on the streets are not able to use these services is because they are often not registered with a doctor.
It is planned that the charities will hold talks over the coming weeks with similar groups and will also talk with the NHS and social services.
The number of people sleeping rough in the United Kingdom has fallen these last few years but as well as the problems of people living on the streets there are over 40,000 living in shelters and hostels. It is thought these figures are set to rise because of the tough economic climate.
Charles Fraser, Chief Executive for St Mungo's 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."
Leslie Murphy from Crisis said:
"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."
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