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8 October 2021
As individuals and organizations recognize World Homelessness Day and World Mental Health Day on Oct 10, CMHA Niagara is reminding the community that housing is key to the recovery for many people with mental health issues.
Individuals with serious mental health conditions frequently identify income and housing as the most important factors in achieving and maintaining their health. Studies show that people who are homeless are more likely to experience compromised mental health and mental illness than the general population. According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, between 25 to 50 per cent of the homeless population in Canada live with a mental illness(es). The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing gaps in housing, making it even more difficult to find and maintain affordable housing for people living with mental illnesses and addictions.
CMHA Niagara Branch offers a Transitional Housing Program and an Independent Subsidized Housing Program, each providing opportunities for individuals living with a mental illness and/or addiction to learn life skills, set goals and become connected to services that will further assist them in their transition to independent living. More details about these programs can be found at https://niagara.cmha.ca/programs-services/mental-health-support/
CMHA Ontario continues its efforts to promote the need for housing in general and supportive housing in particular for people with lived experience of mental illness. CMHA Ontario has called for increased investments in housing, as well as the need to reduce barriers to housing as one way to reduce the overall costs to health care, police and justice, and social services sectors.