the Pavement relies on donations and volunteering from individuals and companies...
London edition (PDF 472KB)
Scottish edition (PDF 476KB)
St Mungo’s released the second phase of their Stop the Scandal campaign this week. It forms part of their investigation into mental health and rough sleeping in the UK.
The report finds that mental health services in a third of UK areas with 10 or more rough sleepers are not adequately provisioned.
“People who sleep rough with mental health problems are 50 per cent more likely to get stuck on the streets,” say St Mungo’s.
Nights are getting longer and it’s even more dangerous to be on the streets. The number of people sleeping rough in England has more than doubled since 2010. The figure stood at more than 3,500 on any given night in autumn 2015.
Mental health is a pressing issue for homeless people and the figures show that 40 per cent of rough sleepers have a mental health problem. Those with a mental health problem experience even more difficulties if they are forced to sleep on the street.
“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.”
Eight of the 21 people interviewed for the report could relate a time they had attempted or considered suicide. Even more shockingly, 129 people who were seen sleeping rough in London between April 2010 and March 2016 died within the same year they were seen on the street.
People with mental health problems often fall through the gaps in legislation and local services. Specialist mental health services can provide effective treatment and support for people sleeping rough.
The report dives into 5 principles that can transform services St Mungo’s have learned from people with lived experience of sleeping rough.