Theme 3: Enabling HEALTH, WELL-BEING and INCLUSION
A significant body of literature demonstrates that homelessness is associated with poor health. Additionally, youth experiencing homelessness are also susceptible to significant mental health challenges, including not only conditions such as PTSD, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, but also high levels of depression, anxiety, hostility, paranoia, psychoticism, and suicidality.
Problematic substance use is both a cause and a consequence of the experience of homelessness, with research attesting to higher rates of substance use disorders amongst this population.
Focusing on prevention and housing stabilization necessarily requires paying attention to interventions and practices that promote health, well-being, and inclusion. The World Health Organization identifies that complete health expands beyond the absence of disease and infirmity to include physical, mental, and social well-being. Embedded in a social determinants of health perspective, this theme will support both prevention and sustainable exits from homelessness by focusing on both factors that undermine physical and mental health, and those approaches, policies and interventions that contribute to positive outcomes.