Mental Health

Mental Health

Individuals with poor mental health are more susceptible to the three main factors that can lead to homelessness: poverty, disaffiliation, and personal vulnerability. The consequences of homelessness tend to be more severe when coupled with mental illness and stresses of living without secure housing affects both physical and mental wellness. People with mental illness encounter additional barriers to securing stable housing, maintaining or improving relationships with family and friends, and achieving meaningful employment.

The relationship between mental health problems and homelessness and access to housing is complex. Individuals with mental health problems or mental illnesses are predisposed to experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness, and poor mental health can be caused, triggered or aggravated by homelessness or housing that does not meet a certain standard of adequacy, affordability and suitability.

Mental Health a Barrier to Housing

2017 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count survey participants were asked what was keeping them from finding a place of their own. 10% of respondents (those who were experiencing homelessness) cited mental health issues as a barrier to finding housing.

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Research for Well-being

Research indicates that a stable and supported living environment is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of people with serious mental illness and is integral to their recovery. Housing with support can generate positive outcomes, including enhanced life skills, improved health status, an increased sense of empowerment and involvement in the community. Research shows that maintaining and improving the housing of individuals with serious mental illness can contribute to a reduction in psychiatric symptoms and therefore decrease the need for emergency and treatment services.

Reducing Barriers

Lookout is always working to reduce barriers for people in need. By merging with the Mood Disorders Association of British Columbia (MDABC), Lookout is able to provide a further continuum of services. Facilitating safety and structure within our housing and health services we aim to promote positive mental health and connect people to additional care and resources.

If you would like information on support groups offered through MDABC  Click Here.

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