Mental health fears for homeless

The mental health problems faced by rough sleepers has reached a ‘critical level’ following a rise in the homelessness rate, St Mungo’s has found. Among its clients, 40 per cent were diagnosed with depression and 22 per cent were diagnosed with schizophrenia, which St Mungo’s called ‘the tip of the iceberg’. It warned that the government’s target to end homelessness in London by 2012 will be missed unless the link between mental health and homelessness is broken. There has been a 15 per cent rise in the homelessness rate in London in the past year – the equivalent of five new rough sleepers a day.