Relationship Between Mental Health and Homelessness

Relationship Between Mental Health and Homelessness

In the present era, homelessness is a serious problem that is faced by UK citizens. In the UK, homelessness is described as a situation in which people live without a roof over their head. They do not have their own residence that makes people unable to spend safe and secure life. All the UK people who are spending their nights in homeless shelters, warming centres, tents, recreational vehicles, cardboard boxes and tarpaulins are considered as homeless. Thus, it can be said that the term ‘home’ not only involves the physical space but also provides security, safety, sense of belongingness and emotional attachment. In UK, the homelessness is mainly refers to the absence of accommodation facilities to the people. In UK, local authority is responsible for providing accommodation services to the homeless person who qualifies all the criteria’s of statutory homelessness test. The five criteria include homelessness, eligibility, priority need, international homelessness and local connection test.Relationship Between Mental Health and Homelessness


Mental illness includes all the health related problems that affect some of the citizens at UK. It affects person’s mood, their way of thinking and behaviour in an adverse manner. It includes depression, addiction, stress, anxiety, panic conditions, and schizophrenia and so on.

In UK, homelessness is caused due to the loss of dwelling, mortgage and rent arrears, breaking down of relationship with partner, unwillingness of parents and families to accommodate for longer period etc. Homelessness is one of the significant reasons that cause mental illness. It is because homeless people feel mental pressure to their mind. They feel depressed and panic conditions that results in mental illness. Both mental illness and homelessness are directly related to each other. Raising the number of homeless people will tend to increase the mental illness and vice versa.

The present essay will discuss the causes and consequences of homelessness. Moreover, it will help us in identifying the relationship between homelessness and mental illness.

Causes of homelessness and its relationship with the mental illness

Relationship between homelessness and mental illness: There are number of factors that cause homelessness in UK. Broad understanding of the factors helps us to ascertain the relationship between homelessness and mental illness. It includes both the personal causes and structural factors that are explained here as under:Relationship Between Mental Health and Homelessness

Personal causes: It involves both the personal as well as social factors. These factors greatly contribute towards the reasons by which person becomes homeless. Further, these factors can be classified into different types that are individual and family background factors. Causes of homelessness that are related to the person are termed as individual factors. However, social factors comprise of all the family factors that causes homelessness and which includes aspects such as family disputes.

Individual factors: The factors that are related to the homeless people only, are the part of individual factors. It includes lack of qualification, lack of social support, high loans or arrears issues, poor health, breaking down of relationships and involvement in crime.

Lack of social support: Social support is related to the person’s behavior in which they help and assist other people. It is related with the perception of people who take care of other individual or group. In the community network, social support system plays a significant role. There are different forms of social support systems that are emotional, instrumental and informational. Caring for the people prevails under the emotional support while instrumental support refers to the physical support. It includes the monetary kind of help such as money and house assistance. Along with it, informational support consists of providing necessary and required information to help someone. In case of difficult survival conditions, lack of society support may cause homelessness problem. However, when the society is inclined to provide care to other people, then they will be able to take home and monetary assistance from the community. In addition to this, more and more support of the society helps to reduce the mental health problems of an individual (Heinze and et. al., 2012). Support of trusted social groups and valued individuals helps to reduce the mental stress. It helps to reduce both psychological and physiological consequences to a great extent. Moreover, support system comprises of formal and informal support from society. Meeting with friends, relatives and going society, clubs etc provides a sense of belonging, safety, security and relationship within the community. Thus, it can be concluded that there is a great tie between the well being and support level. Extensive support level helps to mitigate both the homelessness and mental illness of the people and vice versa.Relationship Between Mental Health and Homelessness

Lack of qualification: It is one of the reasons of unemployment. Moreover, people who are less educated were employed at lower wage rates. Therefore, their income level is very low. Hence, they cannot afford to have their own houses. Therefore, due to lack of qualification and income, people are unable to purchase and build their residence. It, further, leads to cause homelessness. Along with it, less income level causes stress in everyone’s mind for survival. Moreover, uneducated people feel hesitation to talk with other educated people. It causes consciousness in them thereby causes various mental health problems as well. Thus, it can be said that lack of educational and professional qualifications causes both mental illness and homelessness.

Higher debts and mortgage: People take loans for different purposes such as starting their own business, marriages etc. Loans are not only required by the unemployed persons but are also taken by the people who are working somewhere. Banks and other financial institutions provide loans on the basis of collateral security. Most of the people keep their property document as security. In case of making any default in repayments of loans, loan providers have right to discharge the security provided to them. Therefore, in case when people do not repay the mortgages, their property can be repossessed by the mortgage company thereby making people homeless (Pallard and et. al., 2015). Moreover, higher debts require proper arrangements of funds to repay them. This causes stress and depression in the mind of an individual. This in turn, resulted in mental health consequences.Relationship Between Mental Health and Homelessness

Relationship breakdowns: Homelessness also results due to conflict in family relationships. In society, there is rise in number of people who are leaving their houses because of breaking down of the relationships and family conflicts. Young people who are living alone from their parents because of poor family relationships also result in homelessness to them. Moreover, the worst family relationships and conflicts among them creates mental disturbance because homeless person will get highly stressed and depressed (Yıldırım and Yıldırım, 2014). Moreover, the parents will be anxious about the child’s life and their survival. This in turn, resulted in mental illness to all the family members.

Crime involvement: One of the most important factors is involvement in crime at an earlier age. In case, when child left their house and family, the possibility of involving in crime related activities increases. They get involved in thieving activities to fulfil their monetary requirements. This in turn makes people become homeless. Theft also brought fear and stress to the mind of an individual which resulted in poor mental health issues.

Family background: This category of classification is concerned with all the family problems which include family disputes, abusing with the child and using drugs or alcohol. They are explained as below:


Family disputes: Many times, family members fight with each other for the property. The family member desires to have physical possession and legal rights on the homes. Another reason for family disputes is domestic violence. Hence, women who do not feel safety and security at her home, leave home with their children thereby become homeless. Moreover, the family disputes results into poor homely environment.Relationship Between Mental Health and Homelessness Every member feel stressed and panic mental conditions. The disputes highly impact the children in an adverse manner. Moreover, women will be highly depressed in case of domestic violence. Every time they feel very insecure and unsafe. They left the houses for making children’s life safe and secure thereby tends to become homelessness (Payne, Macgregor and McDonald, 2015). Another with it is a greater possibility of suicide which is because of depression. Along with the mental stress and depressed conditions, women also feel lack of belongingness due to living life alone. It brings negative thinking in their minds which further resulted in mental illness. Therefore, it can be said that domestic violence and all other kinds of family disputes bring problems of homelessness and mental consequences.

Abusing family behavior: Abuse includes both physical and sexual abuse. The research for homelessness and mental problems predicts that almost all the homeless children are abused ones. Physical and sexual abuse affects the children’s internal and external behavior.Relationship Between Mental Health and Homelessness