BY: Mark Whitehead
A survey of health and local authority commissioners in areas with ten or more rough sleepers on any one night found only a third were providing mental health assessment, support and treatment for adults sleeping rough.
St Mungo’s have asked for an urgent meeting with health secretary Jeremy Hunt to discuss funding for specialist homeless mental health services.
The charity’s new report, ‘Stop the Scandal: the case for action on mental health and rough sleeping’, says the number of rough sleepers has doubled in England over the last six years.
A previous investigation found that four in ten people sleeping rough needed mental health support.
Howard Sinclair of St Mungo’s said: ‘It is a disgrace that in our developed country over 3,500 people sleep rough on any one night, and it’s likely that number will be even higher this autumn.
‘Despite the mental health inequalities faced by people sleeping rough, most commissioners are not rising to the challenge with targeted mental health services.’