World Mental Health Day 2019 is upon us, reminding us of the need to stay mindful about not only our material wellbeing but the mental health of ourselves and others. Surveys differ on the precise numbers, but a significant number of us are likely to experience some form of mental health problem on an annual basis.
That’s why it’s important for us to use today to open up on the subject of mental health, and explore where there is room for improvement, especially when it comes to the housing market.
Homelessness hits home
As well as today being World Mental Health Day, it is also World Homelessness Day. Having explored the ups and downs of the housing market, it’s important to also consider the situation faced by those who simply don’t have a home, to begin with.
In one of the richest countries in the world, there are still those who simply have no roof over their heads, and in some cases, they never find a place to call home.
The number of homeless people dying on the streets has risen to a record high, with the estimated total being 726 deaths in 2018 alone, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The records only extend as far back as 2013, but since then, the ONS estimates that potentially as many as 3,300 homeless people have died while living rough.
A perennial problem
The UK housing crisis is at the heart of many of our problems.
Property Notify has reported a number of times about this issue, through the shortage of affordable homes, as well as the poor quality of existing housing stock we already have.
This was most recently shown in a report by National Housing Federation, which revealed that over eight million Brits were likely to be already affected by the housing crisis, through issues including high rent, poor living conditions and overcrowding.
The lack of affordable homes is a persistent issue that has contributed to the UK’s housing crisis. In short, a failure to build enough homes over a number of decades, to meet the needs of a growing population, has forced people to make use of the existing supply of existing housing stock, pushing up rents and putting great financial strain on people from all walks of life.
Impact on all people
The housing crisis, combined with the uncertain economic climate and a raft of regulatory changes in recent years have added to the strain felt by both landlords and tenants alike. A number of Property Notify readers have shown concern about changes, including the scrappage of Section 21 or no-fault eviction notices.
Readers, who have often invested in properties as a means to finance their retirements, face the choice of potentially having to pull out of the housing market entirely, not only disrupting their own plans but forcing tenants to start their climb up the housing ladder all over again.
Useful resources to consider
This World Mental Health Day, no matter how housing matters affect you, if you suspect that you have a mental health problem and you seek someone to talk to, we have a list of organisations and charities to consider reaching out to.
They work round the clock, and are always available to talk to, if you wish to open up and start a conversation about your mental health with someone in a position to offer you support.
Samaritans: 116 123
Childline: 0800 1111
Mind: 0300 123 3393
Calm: 0800 58 58 58
Shelter: 0808 800 4444