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What's housing got to do with mental health?

Where you live can have a huge impact on your mental health – everyone needs safe, stable and suitable housing to stay well. There are issues across the private and social housing sectors which mean not enough people are living in the kind of housing they need. In fact, we found that four in five people with mental health problems have lived in housing that has made their mental health worse.

People with mental health problems are being failed when it comes to housing, which is why on 3 May 2018 we launched our new housing campaign.

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You can also show your support for the campaign by sharing our video with your friends and family.

By doing this, you'll help us make sure that as many people as possible understand the link between housing and mental health. And you'll help us improve housing for people with mental health problems, for good.

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Behind closed doors: Kirsty’s story

It’s sometimes hard to imagine what issues like the ones we’ve mentioned mean for people in reality – especially with a subject as complicated as housing. That’s why we spoke to Kirsty (not her real name) about her experience.

Kirsty was due to be discharged after a lengthy stay in hospital but she didn’t have anywhere to stay. She wasn't offered much help with her housing situation while in hospital and the uncertainty had a negative impact on her mental health. When she asked her local council for help, she felt that her experiences were not taken seriously by housing staff who had little mental health expertise.

“They are interrogating you so extremely that, you know, you can see that they’re testing you to see if you’re lying… They don’t really care about your mental health. They just want to tick their boxes. They probably don’t know that much about it… I did leave there and have a massive panic attack because I was just like, ‘They’re not going to give me anything.’ Thank God, it all went through okay, but yes, it wasn’t a pleasant experience.”

After frequent moves, including periods of hospitalization, Kirsty felt that moving into stable social accommodation made a big difference to her recovery.

I wake up in the morning, and I’m like, ‘Oh, what is this feeling that I’ve got? Oh, it’s happiness.’ It doesn’t last that long, but it’s, like, so nice to actually wake up in the morning and actually experience feeling good for the first time in years.

Share your housing story

Have you experienced a housing problem which has caused or worsened your mental health? Would you be happy to tell us about it, like 'Kirsty' has?

Your story will help us to understand what we need to ask politicians and decision-makers to do to improve housing for people with mental health problems. If you’re happy to share your story you can complete this short form.

This isn’t a form to request help – it’s just a way for us to collect information about the housing problems facing people with mental health problems. If you need advice about your housing, please instead go to our information page.

What have Mind been doing about housing?

We’ve been working with local Minds, people with mental health problems and Mind members and campaigners, as well as the public, housing providers and local authorities to get a clear picture of what needs to be done to make sure everyone with a mental health problem has a place to call home. We also surveyed over 2,000 campaigners, Mind members and members of the public about their experiences of housing and mental health.

Four in five

The survey showed that four in five people with mental health problems have lived in housing that has made their mental health worse. It also showed that 40% of people with mental health problems have experienced stigma or discrimination in the place they live at the moment, and that two thirds of people with mental health problems have had at least one issue with the quality of their home. 

We'll be working to make sure that everyone living with a mental health problem has somewhere to call home - somewhere that doesn't put their mental health at risk but instead gives them the space to recover and stay well. And you can help us.

Are you having issues with your housing right now?

Head to our information page for help.

Our report: Brick by brick

In late 2017 we published a report: Brick by brick: A review of mental health and housing’Brick by brick tells the stories of people like 'Dan' who felt he had to hide his mental health problems to secure somewhere to live, 'Crystal' who was assessed for priority housing by someone with no understanding of mental health, and 'Amy' who's constantly afraid that benefits changes will mean she loses her home. 

Brick by brick paints a stark picture of the severity of the housing issues facing people with mental health problems: from cold, damp, poor quality homes, unscrupulous landlords, and housing professionals holding outdated stigmatising beliefs about people with mental health problems, to the challenges posed by housing association processes, the prevalence of unfair evictions, and the rising costs of housing across the board. 

Key statistics:

- One in four tenants with mental health problems has serious rent arrears and is at risk of losing their home

- People with a mental health condition are four times more likely to report that poor housing has made their health worse

Read Brick by brick.

Mental health at home: how where you live can impact your mental health

Watch Billy, Lucie, Lucy and Miles share their experiences of how their living situations and mental health problems affect each other.

Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z

Training

Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

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