Mind Australia, in collaboration with the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), have conducted this national study to develop a clearer understanding of the housing and mental health pathways of people with lived experience of mental ill-health. The research project aimed to identify typical housing and mental health pathways, the intersection of these pathways, and potential points of intervention.
This report presents the final analysis and findings of the Trajectories research project, which consisted of four streams of investigation:
- an evidence review of academic and grey literature
- a quantitative analysis of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey and the Journeys Home: Longitudinal Study of Factors Affecting Housing Stability (JH) datasets in Australia
- interviews and focus groups with carers and people with lived experience of mental ill-health
- focus groups with housing and mental health service providers.
- Housing is the foundation for mental health recovery
- Mental health, housing and homelessness are interrelated
- Mediating factors can reduce the likelihood of housing instability
- The stabilising and well supported trajectories demonstrate the elements that need to be supported by policy to enable people to get well and stay well.
- Access to safe, secure, affordable and appropriate housing that allows for control of space; is in safe neighbourhoods with meaningful social support and connections (close to family and friends, good relationships with neighbours); and provides access to public transport, services, and opportunities for work, volunteering or study.
- Connection to a trusted worker with whom a respectful ongoing relationship can be established—someone who has the skills to assist in navigating services and who can provide advocacy and support when challenges arise.
- Support coordination, and assistance and advocacy to navigate the system.
- Access to psychosocial support to help with day-to-day tasks; maintaining tenancies, relationships and health; establishing and maintaining a routine; and undertaking meaningful activities.
- Financial security, either through employment or the Disability Support Pension (DSP).
- Holistic support that meets the level of need. The quantitative analysis offers strong evidence of the importance of holistic approaches that integrate housing and mental health support with social support, healthcare and financial support, and effective early intervention (i.e. mediating factors).