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Innovation in housing, care and support

Where we live has a great influence over our wellbeing. A recent Shelter review reported that housing issues negatively impacted upon the health of more than a fifth of English adults over the last five years.

For those with mental health problems, housing difficulties – whether they relate to the security of a tenancy or the experience of the accommodation itself – can exacerbate already challenging conditions. People with mental health problems are four times more likely to face a detrimental impact on their health as a result of unsuitable or unstable housing.

The right housing can have a significant impact on the outcomes for those living with serious mental illness. A healthy living environment can:

• promote better physical and mental health
• reduce physical risks
• offer hope, control and the motivation to plan for the long term
• contribute to a sense of community
• facilitate better access to a range of health and welfare services that improve long-term outcomes.

This briefing, informed by case studies and interviews with providers of innovative support and care services, outlines the vital role that supported housing plays in the recovery pathway of people with severe mental health problems. It sets out the potential value that investment in quality, innovative supported housing represents to the wider health system.