For most of us our home is the most valuable, important thing we possess (or rent). It provides stability, security, and links with a community, and it is often intimately involved in our hobbies, interests and status – our sense of who we are. The United Nations declared adequate housing as a universal human right. As one of the social determinants of health, poor housing is associated with significant physical and mental health problems (Krieger & Higgins, 2002).
People with significant mental health problems are more likely to be marginalised in society, and to be at risk of homelessness or living in poor quality housing which does not meet their basic needs. Yet these people are also more likely to have problems of low self-esteem and confidence and sometimes paranoid fears relating to basic security, which are likely to affect their ability to cope with housing-related issues.
In our experience, the ability to provide the right sort of housing and support is one of the most important challenges of mental health services. When this works, benefits such as enhanced stability and mental health, greater social functioning and greater access to work opportunities all follow.
This module aims to improve understanding of the value and importance of supported accommodation for people with mental health problems.