The importance of safe, supported, appropriate accommodation for people living with mental illness has been recognised by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.
Council to Homeless Persons CEO, Jenny Smith, welcomed the Commission’s recommendations which highlighted the importance of stable housing as a core component of mental healthcare.
“It’s fantastic the Royal Commission has recognised the importance of secure housing for people with living with mental illness,” Smith says. “It’s also great to see there is bi-partisan support for implementation, which should result in housing becoming embedded as part of mental health care into the future.
“The commitments to strengthen community-based supports, and to significantly increase the amount of supported housing options available will make a real difference in the lives of Victorians experiencing homelessness and mental illness.
“The Government’s Big Housing Build already includes a commitment to build 2,000 homes for people living with mental illness in Victoria. We welcome the Commissioners’ recommendation that these homes become supported housing, and that Government construct a further 500 dwellings to provide medium term supported housing for young people living with mental illness.
“Last year, almost 13,000 people who presented at one of Victoria’s public mental health services, also experienced homelessness in that same year.
“This level of need speaks to the importance of sustaining investment in housing options for people with mental illness into the future to provide an ongoing supply of safe, supported, and appropriate housing for people living with mental illness.”
“We also welcome the Commissioners’ recommendations to strengthen culturally appropriate care for people living with mental illness, support to people experiencing trauma, and effective support to people living with addictions as well as mental illness.
“It is also very positive to see that the Commissioners have highlighted the importance of strongly embedding the voice of people with lived experience in design and delivery of mental health services.”