A new study by Macquarie University and the Matthew Talbot Hostel Clinic reveals how the current housing policy is contributing to the problems of homelessness and mental illness. According to the research done by Macquarie University with the Matthew Talbot Hostel Clinic run by the St Vincent de Paul Society, mental illness is a serious problem among the homeless, which can be addressed by making available more low cost housing and alternative housing models.
The massive study published in The Medical Journal of Australia involved the review of the medical records of 2,388 people who visited clinics in inner-Sydney homeless hostels over an eight-year period from 2008.
Commenting on the proven link between mental illness, substance use, and chronic homelessness, Olav Nielssen, lead researcher and Professor of Psychiatry at Macquarie University Medical School noted that they were not surprised to find that people who became homeless often had mental illness or substance use disorders. Even more surprising was the number of people discharged from institutional care at prisons and psychiatric hospitals into a state of homelessness; there are many who have lost public housing tenancy too.
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