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Housing linked to risk of mental health conditions

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Social housing is linked to mental illness Social housing is linked to mental illness

People living in social housing experience increased risk of mental health conditions, research from Understanding Society has found.

The research, from a seven-year study of over 40,000 households, found that those in the social and private rented sector had a higher risk of mental health problems compared to those who are home owners. People living in the social rented sector had a 4% higher risk of experiencing mental health problems, while those in the private rented sector had a 2% higher risk of having mental health problems.

‘Two in five people with mental health problems in social housing become more unwell as a result of where they live, so we absolutely cannot let social housing reform be put on the backburner,’ said Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind.

Social housing was introduced with the aim of providing affordable, quality housing to those of us who might be struggling with issues like health and finances, and is usually provided by local authorities or non-profit organisations. Despite this, previous research by Mind found more than two in five (43%) people with mental health problems living in social housing have seen their mental health deteriorate as a result of where they live.

‘Decision makers and the social housing sector have a responsibility to make sure that those of us living with mental health problems can access the support we need to recover, stay well and live fulfilling lives,’ added Mr Farmer.

‘Mind is calling for the Government to collect better data on social housing and mental health, and to urgently develop a social housing strategy with mental health at its heart, including protecting and improving existing social housing.’

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