Shocking new research has today revealed that millions of people in London have suffered a deterioration in their mental health because of housing problems in their lifetime, and many are seeking help from GPs in the area.
The report from Shelter and ComRes shows 37 per cent of people in London have experienced issues including long-term stress, anxiety and depression due to a housing problem over their lifetime. In some of the worst cases, people have suicidal thoughts.
The charity is urging anyone overwhelmed by housing problems to get advice from Shelter London Hub, after 1 in 10 (10 per cent) people in the capital said they had visited their GP due to housing problems.
An in-depth investigation with 20 GPs, including professionals from London, revealed:
- GPs say some of their patients diagnosed with anxiety and depression is directly due to housing problems
- Bad housing is tipping people with existing mental health issues ‘over the edge’
- Poor housing conditions are having the biggest effect on mental health but unaffordable and unstable rented housing are also having a negative impact
- GPs feel they need more help in supporting patients experiencing these problems
Showing how linked housing and mental health are, nationally the research shows that a vast majority (69 per cent) of people who have experienced housing problems in the last five years such as poor conditions, struggling to pay the rent or being threatened with eviction, have reported a negative impact on their mental health.
Shelter London manager, Connie Cullen, said: “Every day at Shelter London we hear from people who are at their wit’s end because they just can’t cope with their unstable, unliveable or unaffordable housing.
“From families worrying about falling behind on the rent to people struggling with the misery of raising children in a tiny, mouldy flat – people can feel completely overwhelmed.”conversation away – visit shelter.org.uk/advice or contact Shelter London on 0344 515 1540.”