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Relationship between mental health and homelessness

Introduction to 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.

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:

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 behaviour 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 wellbeing and support level. Extensive support level helps to mitigate both the homelessness and mental illness of the people and v

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