Submission to the Joint Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care

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The Simon Communities in Ireland welcome the opportunity to make a submission to inform the work of the Joint Committee on the Future of Mental Health Care. There is a complex relationship between homelessness and health incorporating physical health issues, mental health issues, problematic drug and alcohol use and complex needs.1 Health issues can be the cause of homelessness occurring in the first place but they can also be a consequence of the experience of being homeless. What is clear is the longer a person is homeless the greater the impact on their overall health and wellbeing. People experiencing homelessness are not a homogenous group. They are a diverse group of people that include women, young men, families, those with complex mental and physical health needs and people with problematic drug and alcohol use. Understanding this diversity and individual’s unique pathways into and experiences of homelessness is crucial to ensure we can respond to their individual and often complex health needs.

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