Ending homelessness, rebuilding lives

Happiness Matters: homeless people’s views about breaking the link between homelessness and mental ill health

‘[Being homeless] makes me feel low in the long run as you lose hope in getting back on track and into society’

Mental health matters.The impact of mental ill health on the individuals affected – the personal trauma, the sheer waste of human potential and the denial of the right to a fulfilling life – cannot be overstated. Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of people who are homeless and sleeping rough on the streets.

As an influential report to the government on mental health and the need for more preventive services has said: ‘Mental illness is a major source of suffering, probably worse than poverty. It leads to massive social exclusion and costs to the Exchequer…We should do all in our power to prevent people with mental illness becoming disconnected from society, and, if they have become so, to reconnect them.’ (Layard 2005)

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