Homeless services lacking

11-07-2018 by admin

Anglicare says 80 per cent of those living in their supported residential facilities are experiencing mental illness.ANGLICARE Tasmania says a lack of affordable housing is causing individuals with mental illness to slip through the cracks.

Anglicare Tasmaniastate manager of Housing Connect and Supported Residential Services Belinda Jones said80 per cent of thoseliving in Anglicare’ssupported residential facilities areexperiencing mental illness.

“Many of the people presenting to our homelessness services who have a mental illness are often lacking social support,” she said.

Ms Jones saidthose with mental illness cite housing as their main concern.

“We need more affordable housing and a range of housing options, for examplefrom independent housing…through to supported housing,” she said.

“Those with a chronic and persistent mental illness will often be struggling with other issues such as isolation, substance use issues, family breakdown and financial difficulties.”

City Missionoperations manager Ray Greensaid that Tasmania needsmorelong-term housing and to address issuesearly on.

“It’s pretty clear it’s [mental illness and homelessness]increasing, we need to really address the underlying causes of the mental illness, not just the mental illness,” he said.

“We’ve got a homelessness shelter that is pretty much 95 per cent full, quite a few have a mental illness, 40 per cent of our clients.

Quite a few haven’t had a diagnosis but it becomes fairly obvious early on that things that don’t seem right.”

Mr Green said he was in talks with the state government to extend existing facilities on the North-West coast, in order to accommodate for long-term housing and crisis accommodation.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released last weeksurveyed individuals in 2014 aged 15 yearsand over who had experiencedhomelessness in their lifetime.

It took into account whether theysuffered mental illness.

The data found 24 per centof Tasmanians surveyed had experienced both a mental illness and homelessness.

Lifeline: 13 11 14

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