All people need access to safe, secure and suitable housing. For people living with a psychosocial disability and other mental health issues, this is a critical element for recovery.
Housing plays a vital role in supporting the recovery journey. So it is very important that governments address housing provision when developing and implementing mental health reform.
Without suitable accommodation, the mental health of consumers can become very unstable. Instability can drive them back into hospital, homelessness or, in the worst-case scenario, prison. This also potentially places them at greater risk of self-harm.
Building and managing housing with recovery-oriented services has presented serious challenges in sustaining and expanding its availability.
Ongoing supported accommodation shortages means consumers have to live with their families and friends (carers), even when this is not always the best situation. Indeed, support provided by the carer is often the only thing keeping the consumer from homelessness.
As carers age, or become unwell themselves, questions arise. Who will care for their family member or friend when they are no longer able to do so? And in some cases, should they walk away from the relationship because it is too hard? This adds another level of stress to the carer.
There are also many consumers trapped in different categories of homelessness. These include boarding houses, sofa surfing, and the “revolving door” of mental health crisis accommodation and criminal justice systems.
The NMHCCF is concerned that there is a lack of
The NMHCCF believes that rather than investing in further pilot programs, it is time to scale up and expand successful programs nationally to meet demand.