A mental health worker from Queensland says in the leadup to RUOK? Day on September 14, stopping to have a conversation with the homeless can have a huge impact on their wellbeing.
Cristel Simmonds from headspace, a mental health service aimed at young people, recently volunteered at a fundraising event supporting the homeless, who according to Mental Health Australia, have a much higher incidence of mental illness than the rest of the population.
She said people could become homeless very quickly due to a number of reasons.
“It could be drugs and alcohol, it could be domestic violence, it could be financial or a quick shift in employment situations,” she said.
“It does affect people of all ages, there are children as young as 10, 11 or 12 who are sleeping on the streets at times.
“From the people I meet out on the street, most of them are just looking for someone to talk to; a lot of them are alone.
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