Mental Illness Increases Risk of Homelessness

People with mental illness are at a greater risk of homelessness. They are more susceptible to the three main factors that can lead to homelessness: poverty, disaffiliation and personal vulnerability.

Those with mental illness often lack the capacity to sustain employment and risk little or no income. At the same time, delusional thinking may lead them to withdraw from friends, family and other people. This loss of support leaves them with fewer coping resources in times of trouble. Mental illness can also impair a person’s ability to be resilient and resourceful; it can cloud thinking and impair judgment.

Homelessness, in turn, amplifies poor mental health:

30-35% of those experiencing homelessness have mental illnesses.

20-25% of people experiencing homelessness suffer from

concurrent disorders (severe mental illness and addictions).