New report examines the existing evidence on housing and mental health pathways

The first report from the AHURI and Mind Australia Trajectories partnership

28 May 2019

AHURI and Mind Australia are pleased to release first report from a national study into the housing and mental health pathways of people with lived experience of mental ill-health.

This report, ‘Trajectories: the interplay between mental health and housing pathways’, gathers existing evidence from both local and international sources, and analyses mental health and housing programs and models; policy levers and system level drivers relating to housing, mental health and homelessness; and the datasets capturing mental health prevalence, service use and needs in relation to housing.

Inquiry into population growth, migration and agglomeration – which will develop a comprehensive evidence-base on the complex but important interplays between productivity, housing costs, migration and the benefits/problems of agglomeration, and Inquiry into enhancing the coordination of housing supports for individuals leaving institutional settings – which will identify customised, integrated and coordinated housing support approaches for individuals leaving institutional settings.

Some key findings from the report are:

  • there is little integration between the separate housing, homelessness and mental health policy systems;
  • housing affordability, social housing shortages and lack of supported housing are key issues for people with lived experience of mental ill-health;
  • mental ill-health and homelessness are strongly associated;
  • housing choice and control over housing and support are important contributors to wellbeing and quality of life for people with lived experience of mental ill-health;
  • the capacity of the mental health service system does not meet need;
  • integrated programs addressing housing and mental health are effective but do not meet demand for these services;
  • discharge from hospitals and mental health services is a risk factor for homelessness.;
  • failure points in the housing, homelessness and mental health systems and opportunities for early intervention are not well understood.

AHURI has worked closely with Mind Australia, one of Australia's leading community managed specialist mental health service providers, to produce ‘Trajectories’. It follows recent AHURI research commissioned by the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) examining the issues and policy levers required to provide more and better housing for people with lived experience of mental ill-health. ‘Trajectories’ extends the NMHC work through further data analysis; community consultations with mental health consumers and families; and workshops with service providers.

The next stage of research for the national study includes ongoing consultations across Australia with service practitioners as well as people with lived experience of mental ill-health. A full list of upcoming consultations is available on the Trajectories homepage, and if you are interested in participating, you can contact Project Leader, Dr Nicola Brackertz.

For more details please visit the Trajectories project page on the AHURI website.