Mental Health Week
The theme of WA Mental Health Week is all about community and the various settings we go to every day where we can support the wellbeing of others.
Shelter WA recognises that a secure home is widely recognised as providing a fundamental basis for building mental health.
“People with mental illness continue to be discharged from hospital, other health services, and institutions such as prisons with no arrangements for their housing, treatment and support in the community,” said Shelter WA CEO Ms Michelle Mackenzie.
“It is essential that mental health issues are a part of any discussion on homelessness and housing. People with a mental illness face several barriers in their attempts to achieve and maintain stable housing.
“National research to build a greater understanding of the connections between mental illness, unstable housing and homelessness must be a priority, with appropriate funding and ongoing support for this research,” Ms Mackenzie said.
In the report Homelessness in Western Australia: A review of the research and statistical evidence (Kaleveld, L. Seivwright, A. Box, E. Callis, Z. Flatau, P, 2018) the authors noted, “The link between mental health problems and homelessness is well established.
“The prevalence of trauma in the homeless population in itself indicates that rates of mental illness would also be high.”
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
“The correlation between homelessness and mental health issues were at staggering levels, but there were some excellent community services out there demonstrating success at tackling this issue,” said Western Australian Association for Mental Health CEO Ms Taryn Harvey.
“It’s encouraging to see more people are confident speaking up about mental health issues than ever before, but WA must be prepared to meet increasing demand with the right infrastructure in place to support these people.
“We know that home is where the health is, and people can avoid hospitals, expensive acute care and ending up at Emergency Departments if they have supports in place in their homes or close to their homes,” Ms Harvey said.
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