Specialist mental health services

At St Mungo's, we take a holistic approach to mental and physical health including substance use, addressing these issues alongside each other.

We focus on enabling our clients to access existing mental health services as well as promoting a model of psychotherapy that is effective for homeless people. This may be in partnership with the NHS or through our own psychotherapy service, LifeWorks.  

"People continually ask me what I get out of my [psychotherapy] sessions: higher self esteem and an increasing realisation of what makes me vulnerable." - David 

72% of our clients report a mental health problem. For many people who are homeless, particularly women, mental health issues are rooted in traumatic experiences including neglect and abuse during childhood. These are often compounded throughout adult life and by the experiences of homelessness itself. Drug and alcohol use often develop as a means to cope with past traumas and current difficulties. Read more about homelessness and health in The Lancet.

Our mental health and complex needs housing projects promote wellbeing and help to maximise clients' independent living skills.

Our specialist mental health projects include:

Mental health in the community
Since April 2015 we have managed the Assertive Engagement Service and the Bristol Sanctuary, part of Bristol Mental Health Services. We also manage the Bristol Men's Crisis House in the city.

Further reading
Rebuilding Shattered Lives: the final report. Getting the right help at the right time to women who are homeless or at risk. Read our 2015 update here.

"Psychotherapy is for everyone" - David's blog

Happiness Matters report: Homeless people's views about breaking the link between homelessness and mental health