St Mungo’s | Stop The Scandal – The case for action on mental health and rough sleeping

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St Mungo's: Stop The Scandal

Today, St Mungo’s released the second part of their investigation into mental health and rough sleeping, as part of our Stop the Scandal campaign. We wanted to find out what specialist mental health services are commissioned to help people who sleep rough. What we discovered was deeply disturbing.

Only a third of areas with 10 or more people sleeping rough have mental health services that are designed to reach them. This is simply not good enough.

We all know that rough sleeping is dangerous and ruins lives – people who sleep rough with mental health problems are 50% more likely to get stuck on the streets. Out of the clients we spoke to, many had mental problems when they found themselves on the streets, and most told us that their mental health got worse as a result of sleeping rough.

We worked with our clients to develop a set of five principles to inform how services working with people sleeping rough with a mental health problem should be commissioned and delivered.

Services must be: accessible, attentive, understanding, caring and persistent.

This afternoon, they’ll be sharing the findings of our report at a Parliamentary event with Ministers from the Department of Health and Communities and Local Government, calling on them to ensure that mental health services that embody these principles are commissioned as a matter of urgency.

Not only that, but our clients will also be asking to meet with Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, to discuss their first-hand experiences of sleeping rough.

In the meantime, read St Mungo’s report: Stop The Scandal – The case for action on mental health and rough sleeping

St Mungo’s | #StopTheScandal

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I just asked our Prime Minister and his government to Stop the Scandal of people with mental ill-health being stuck sleeping rough at www.mungos.org/stopthescandal

Not only is rough sleeping on the rise in the UK, but 4 in 10 people sleeping rough have a mental health problem, often with no support and no way home.

Worse still, St Mungo’s research shows that some people end up sleeping rough soon after being discharged from mental health hospitals and people with mental health problems are 50 per cent more likely to end up sleeping rough for more than a year, a dangerous situation that ruins lives.

It’s not right that anyone has to sleep rough on our streets – and it’s nothing short of a scandal that people with mental health problems are being let down when they need help the most.

Please join me to call on our Prime Minister to Stop the Scandal by signing this letter demanding urgent action today.

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Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister

Will you stop the scandal of people with mental health problems left sleeping rough?

It’s not right that anyone should be without a home, and it’s nothing short of a national scandal that people with mental health problems are stuck sleeping rough.

We urge you to stop this scandal by leading a new, ambitious national rough sleeping strategy to deliver:

  • mental health assessments and professional support to people on the street
  • specialist supported housing to aid recovery
  • the right support upon discharge so people don’t end up sleeping rough after leaving mental health hospitals, and
  • improvements to homelessness legislation to prevent more rough sleeping.

Government statistics continue to show an alarming rise in rough sleeping in England, and new research from homelessness charity St Mungo’s reveals that 4 in 10 people who sleep rough have a mental health problem, rising to over half of rough sleepers from the UK.

The research also exposes how quickly someone’s mental health can deteriorate when they are sleeping on the street. What’s more, people with a mental health problem are around 50 per cent more likely to have spent over a year on the streets than others sleeping rough.

We believe this requires urgent attention from across government and the NHS. With the right support and routes off the street, people can look after their mental health and rebuild their lives.

Better still, the right mental health services can prevent people from sleeping rough in the first place. But right now, only 26 per cent of homelessness outreach workers say people sleeping rough are able to access the mental health services they need.

Rough sleeping is dangerous and ruins lives. People with mental health problems are particularly at risk. Please ensure that the most vulnerable in our society are not forgotten about.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Bull

St Mungo’s | Stop The Scandal

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4 in 10 people sleeping rough are struggling with a mental health problem, often with no support and no way home.

Like Patrick, who was stuck sleeping rough for 18 years until he was offered mental health support and a safe place to stay which helped him to rebuild his life. But for thousands of people, the support never comes.

St Mungo’s is calling on people to sign their letter and call on Prime Minister David Cameron to Stop the Scandal of people with mental health problems left sleeping rough.

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Prime Minister David Cameron
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

Dear Prime Minister David Cameron,

Will you stop the scandal of people with mental health problems left sleeping rough?

It’s not right that anyone should be without a home, and it’s nothing short of a national scandal that people with mental health problems are stuck sleeping rough.

We urge you to stop this scandal by leading a new, ambitious national rough sleeping strategy to deliver:

  • mental health assessments and professional support to people on the street,
  • specialist supported housing to aid recovery
  • the right support upon discharge so people don’t end up sleeping rough after leaving mental health hospitals, and
  • improvements to homelessness legislation to prevent more rough sleeping.

Government statistics continue to show an alarming rise in rough sleeping in England, and new research from homelessness charity St Mungo’s reveals that 4 in 10 people who sleep rough have a mental health problem, rising to over half of rough sleepers from the UK.

The research also exposes how quickly someone’s mental health can deteriorate when they are sleeping on the street. What’s more, people with a mental health problem are around 50 per cent more likely to have spent over a year on the streets than others sleeping rough.

We believe this requires urgent attention from across government and the NHS. With the right support and routes off the street, people can look after their mental health and rebuild their lives.

Government statistics continue to show an alarming rise in rough sleeping in England, and new research from homelessness charity St Mungo’s reveals that 4 in 10 people who sleep rough have a mental health problem, rising to over half of rough sleepers from the UK.

The research also exposes how quickly someone’s mental health can deteriorate when they are sleeping on the street. What’s more, people with a mental health problem are around 50 per cent more likely to have spent over a year on the streets than others sleeping rough.

We believe this requires urgent attention from across government and the NHS. With the right support and routes off the street, people can look after their mental health and rebuild their lives.

Paul Bull