Homelessness and Mental Health: David’s Story

See how our Staying Well team works to support individuals with mental health challenges by improving their well-being and living conditions. 

Homelessness and Mental Health: David’s Story

The connection between homelessness and mental health is both expressive and alarming. According to a report by Homeless Link, the number of people experiencing homelessness with a mental health diagnosis has drastically increased from 45% in 2014 to a staggering 82% between 2018 and 2021. 

David’s Journey 

Last summer, David* was facing numerous challenges, including a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, depressive disorder, and a mild learning disability. On top of these mental health issues, David also had prostate cancer and was suffering from profound social isolation. 

David’s living conditions were far from ideal. His council flat was in desperate need of repair—mould covered his bathroom, his fridge was broken, and his mattress was worn out. The distressing voices he heard exacerbated his isolation, leading to frequent panic attacks and sleepless nights. 

Our Staying Well Team, part of Lambeth Living Well Network, an alliance of organisations dedicated to improving the lives of people in Lambeth, stepped in to help. They ensured that David’s living conditions were improved, making his home a safe and comfortable environment, and positively reflecting on his well-being. 

Recently, however, David experienced a significant deterioration in his mental health. The voices he heard had gotten louder, causing severe panic attacks, sleepless nights, and days spent in bed.  

In response, the Staying Well team consulted with medical professionals from the alliance and coordinated appropriate interventions, including medication and home visits to assess his condition and discuss his symptoms. Their swift action stabilised David’s mental health, preventing further deterioration and avoiding hospitalisation. 

David has been attending medical appointments and will soon start radiography. The Staying Well Team continues to support him by regularly checking on his mental health, assisting with medical appointments, and meeting him at home and in the community. David has expressed that since working with the team, his life has become significantly less lonely and stressful, and he greatly appreciates having someone to contact when he has a problem. 

The Importance of Mental Health Support 

David’s story illustrates the importance of mental health support, especially for those who are vulnerable to experiencing homelessness. Our Staying Well team’s efforts show how integrated support can significantly improve the lives of individuals facing both homelessness and mental health challenges. 

Learn more about the Staying Well Team. 

*Name has been changed to protect the individual’s privacy.