Explains how your mental health and your housing situation might affect each other. Provides tips on how to cope and where you can get more support.
Housing and mental health are often linked. Poor mental health can make it harder to cope with housing problems, while being homeless or having problems in your home can make your mental health worse.
"I don't think the importance of a safe and stable environment can be overstated. In my own case it has been essential."
Here are some examples of how your mental health and your housing situation might affect each other, and where you can get more information.
Housing problems can put a strain on relationships. For example, feeling angry or stressed can cause arguments or make it hard to discuss what to do. Relationship breakdown, for example with parents or partners, can also result in housing problems.
For more information on relationship problems see the Relate website.
"I used to own my own home. When I split with my ex-husband he stopped paying the mortgage, causing myself and his own daughter to be homeless."
If your sleeping conditions are noisy, crowded, uncomfortable or chaotic you might find it hard to sleep. Stress and worry can also keep you awake.
Not getting enough sleep can affect your mental health.
Environmental issues such as damp, mould, and dirt can make you physically unwell. If you don't have access to cooking or washing facilities you might find it hard to eat healthily, exercise and take care of yourself. Experiencing physical illnesses can impact on your mental health.
For information on physical health problems see the NHS Choices website.
Having a mental health problem can make it harder to cope with keeping on top of bills and letters, or talking to people like landlords or housing associations.
You might also struggle to clean or maintain your living space, for example if you're experiencing depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or hoarding. This may put your housing situation at risk.
"When I'm depressed I struggle with the upkeep of the house, and I can’t keep it clean, and landlords don’t like that."
Your housing situation might depend on being able to carry on working or studying. If your mental health problem affects your ability to keep up with your job or course, this can cause housing problems.
Not having somewhere suitable and secure to live can also affect your ability to work or study.
For advice on many kinds of housing problems, you can contact Citizens Advice, Shelter England, or Shelter Cymru. Our useful contacts page also lists details of many more organisations who may be able to help you. See our page on coping with housing problems for more practical tips and suggestions.
Watch Billy, Lucie, Lucy and Miles share their experiences of how their living situations and mental health problems affect each other.
"I’ve moved many times in my life and each one has been so stressful that it has caused a psychotic episode."
This information was published in October 2017. We will revise it in 2019.
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