Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a £2.35m funding boost to tackle mental health issues among rough sleepers.
The announcement is timed to coincide with World Homelessness Day and Mental Health Awareness Day, which are both occurring on the same day – a symbolic twinning of two issues that can so often go hand in hand.
According to the Mayor’s office, half of all people sleeping rough in London last year were recorded as having mental health needs.
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“We will continue to do everything we can to help rough sleepers off the streets of London, including doubling City Hall’s outreach team and opening new shelters,” said Khan.
“To go further, we are announcing today a new pilot to ensure dedicated mental health professionals can provide specialist support to people on the streets who need it the most.”
The new collaborative project will see teams of mental health professionals from NHS Mental Health Trusts joining outreach workers from organisations including St Mungo’s, Thames Reach and Single Homeless Project. The hope is that by linking up with dedicated teams of outreach workers, the mental health specialists will be able to offer people sleeping rough more flexible and accessible support.