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Mental health and homelessness

Updated: Jun 10

Mental health and homelessness

This week is Mental Health Awareness week, we are putting the spotlight on mental health and homelessness.

Led by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week brings together the UK to focus on getting good mental health.


Poor mental health and homelessness are inextricably linked. The latest

·        82% of people experiencing homelessness have a mental health diagnosis

·        the most frequently reported mental health conditions were: depression, anxiety disorder or phobia, and dual diagnosis with a drug or alcohol problem.

·        45% of respondents reported they are self-medicating with drugs or alcohol to help them cope with their mental health

·        Between 2018 - 2021 a total of 38% of respondents had been admitted to hospital in the 12 months before participating in a Homeless Health Needs Audit, of which 28% related to either a mental health condition, or self-harm or attempted suicide





Access to local mental health services

People experiencing homelessness or other vulnerable people are often intimidated or do not feel comfortable accessing mental health and care services through usual routes; keeping appointments and travelling to different locations can be daunting when you’re pre-judged and stigmatised.

Each individual who comes through our door has faced different life experiences and challenges, requiring different levels, and types of support according to their mental health needs.


We work with local professional organisations to support people with their mental health within our building. Our partners include:

·        SALUTE

·        Intuitive Recovery

·        Axis counselling

·        RESET

Being able to access services which support mental health in a place where they feel safe is the first step towards making a positive change.

Moving more for our mental health

This year’s Mental Health Awareness week theme is ‘Movement: Moving more for our mental health’. Regular physical activity is known to improve mental health, quality of life, and wellbeing. It also helps prevent and treat heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and breast and colon cancer, and more. Despite these benefits being well established, over a third of UK adults do not meet the recommended amount of activity.


However, studies have found people who are experiencing rough sleeping walk between 10 and 15 miles every day; furthermore, for some of the people who use our services, they are often malnourished, and are physically exhausted.

But different types of physical activities can and do have a positive impact.

For instance, through our networks, we encouraged Dave to enrol in a Bright Star Boxing course. The impact of this boxing programme, which includes mentoring, education and community support has been immense for Dave; as well as seeing a big improvement in mental health, his numeracy skills have improved too.


Support us to support others

We NEVER charge for our services and we are funded entirely by grants and donations.

Thank you to everyone who supports us! Everything we are able to do is because of your generosity.


If you would like to volunteer for us at Shrewsbury Ark get in touch! We have lots of volunteer opportunities. Email us at volunteer@shrewsburyark.co.uk or telephone us via 01743 363305 to register an interest.







You can support us to help people make positive changes in their lives by:


· Making a donation via our page on the Charities Aid Foundation. Click here to make a regular or one-off donation online now. (Please remember to Gift Aid your donation – This means we will receive tax benefits and help ensure your donation goes further.)

· Shop online through the Give as you Live shopping website. Through this portal, retailers agree to give a percentage of your purchase to us, at NO cost to you. More information and sign-up details here.

· Call in at our shop at 14 Castle Street to make a purchase or donate unwanted items.

· Give us a shout out and follow us on social media: we’re active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

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