The 10th of October is World Mental Health Day, with this year’s theme being ‘mental health is a universal human right'. But did you know it’s also World Homeless Day?

It may be a coincidence that these are marked on the same day, but the two are deeply connected and often remain unspoken about.

Stigma, isolation and unmet needs.

People experiencing homelessness and struggling with their mental health can face challenges around stigma and isolation. Of course, these groups aren’t mutually exclusive and often overlap with both experiences often intensifying each other.

Mental Health Matters and The Connection at St. Martin’s recognise this and have partnered to raise awareness. As you’ll see, the size of this crisis can’t be ignored:

  • 45% of people experiencing homelessness have been diagnosed with a mental health issue. This rises to 8 out of 10 people who are sleeping rough – these figures will likely rise when undiagnosed issues are considered. (Crisis)
  • 85% of people sleeping rough have experienced abuse or trauma as children. Life on the streets is a trauma in itself, meaning that many people will continue to experience a vicious cycle without proper support. (The Connection, 2022)
  • 25% of people experiencing homelessness have been admitted to hospital due to mental health concerns. (The Connection, 2023)
  • In the last three months alone, the Mental Health Matters helpline has received 170 calls from people in distress concerning their housing situation.

The better we understand these issues, the more we can do to support ourselves and others. Join us today and help make real change for those struggling with their mental health and homelessness.

How does this affect people?

Homelessness and mental health aren’t about statistics, they’re about people.

Read their stories
Read more

Simon’s story – Team Manager, The Mooring Crisis Service

We have been supporting a client for almost a year now. She used to be an artist and was very proud of her work, but she struggled with addiction and was diagnosed with psychosis, a term used to describe symptoms where there has been some loss of contact with reality.

With support, she has managed to combat the addiction, but she lost her home in the process and is now homeless. She finds it’s difficult to engage with support services and many housing options place her around people who are still using drugs. She has, however, found a community of support through her peers and our service is here to help her to work through difficult emotions whenever she needs us.

MHM Helpline Support Worker

I have had calls from several veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. For veterans, it can reinforce their feeling of not belonging in civilian life and a lack of control over their lives. It can also affect the support they are entitled to as many services require an address.

Joao's story

Joao struggled with a history of depression and a suicide attempt while sleeping rough in London. However, after accessing support from The Connection, he says is mental health was much better now through a combination of accessing talking therapy and volunteering in our kitchen!

Kerri’s story

Kerri accessed support from The Connection after she left the care system and was struggling with addiction.

For the past 5 years, she has worked alongside homeless charities (Including The Connection) and the Government, sharing her lived experiences to enable change. She’s also written a book on her experiences.

“The charity did a lot for me in the 11 years I experienced homelessness. They were more than a shower, clean clothes and a meal. I will never forget the love, equality and humanity this service showed me.”

How can I get involved?

Together, we want to make sure people like Joaos stories are heard and that everyone can access the support they deserve. If you’d like to help us reach this goal, follow our social media to find out how you can get involved.

You can also share our campaign using the below links. This will show those struggling with their mental health and/or sleeping rough know that you stand with them.

Please help us spread this message and reduce the stigma!


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The Connection 

At The Connection, we open our door to everyone who needs a place to call home. We support people sleeping rough in the heart of London, helping them to recover and find their way off the streets. We get to know every person we work with, going the extra mile to understand their needs and hopes for the future, and being creative about finding help and solutions.

Where can I find support?