Ellie White, Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer, tell us why we’re focusing on improving social housing as part of our latest campaign and how you can get involved.
You may have heard us talking about housing for the first time back in May, when we started to raise awareness about the link between housing and mental health. We all know that having a place you can call ‘home’ is vital in helping us stay well and that’s why this latest campaign is so important. Since then we’re narrowed our focus onto social housing, which has been high on the political agenda since the tragedy at Grenfell Tower last June.
Why are we campaigning to improve social housing?
Social housing is meant to be safe, secure and low cost, making it a good option for those of us with mental health problems who need it. Yet over two in five people told us that their experience of social housing had made their mental health worse.
Many of you have told us that you’ve been put off from applying in the first place or struggled to navigate the application process. Lots of you are also facing stigma from the housing staff who are meant to help, and shockingly, too many of you are still ending up placed in the kind of home that negatively affects your mental health. This needs to change.
What we are calling for?
The Government has committed to prioritising mental health, and housing is an integral part of this. But when it comes to social housing, they don't have an accurate picture of what the system is like for those of us living with mental health problems or how it affects people's health. That’s why we're calling on the government to take practical steps to better understand the housing needs of people with mental health problems and deliver a social housing system that is fit for purpose.
How you can get involved
There will be lots of opportunities to take action over the next year. As a starter, we've been asking people to share our new animation over their social media to help make noise about the issues people are facing.
The next action will be to add your voice and your experiences to our submission to the Government's consultation on social housing so we can let them know what social housing is really like for those of us living with mental health problems. This will close on Tuesday 6 November. Watch this space over the next couple of weeks to read our summary of the consultation and find out how you can feed in.
It's the start of a new term for Parliament, so let's hope they make the most of this opportunity to sort out social housing for people living with mental health problems.
Find out more about how to get involved in the campaign here. Find out more about what support is available for your housing issue here.