Why building trust can be really difficult
10 October 2016
Almost half of the people we helped on the streets last year had a mental health need.
Sonya is part our team that works with people sleeping on the streets. Understanding mental ill health plays a big part in her role.
“I help people who are rough sleeping find somewhere to live. I’ve met many people whose homelessness was a result of struggling with mental ill health and being unable to get the support they needed. On the streets, it’s even harder to get the right kind of help. That’s where my colleagues and I come in. People don’t open up to you straight away and it can take weeks to earn their trust."
Sonya and her colleagues help homeless people into suitable accommodation and find them support for any problems they are facing.
“I’ve met people who’ve lived on the streets for years. After that length of time the idea of change becomes scary. It’s my job to encourage them to accept help.
“Of course, not everyone who is homeless has a mental health condition… but a significant amount of people do. In some cases, they don’t realise it but we can recognise the signs and help them get a diagnosis which will put them on the path to escaping the streets.”
The number of people sleeping rough with mental health problems is rising. Unless they are given the right support, a stable future is out of reach.