Breaking the Cycle

New report shines a light on the barriers for homeless people in Scotland when trying to access addiction and mental health support.

Read the Report

We support people every day who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness. Sadly, we know first-hand that substance use and mental ill-health are common when someone is trying to survive without the security of a home.

Whether people are using substances to help them cope with the challenges of sleeping rough or experiencing mental ill-health after losing their home, many of these support needs are rooted in homelessness.

Our new report also demonstrates that good data helps local authorities plan the right support so that people can move on with their lives.

Better data would not only assist in targeting resources it also supports progress towards eradicating rough sleeping and potentially saves lives.
Colonel Sylvia Hinton, Secretary for Scotland
Rough sleeper

Breaking the Cycle

read report

Key Recommendations 

The seven key recommendations from the report are:

  • All local authorities in Scotland to analyse the cause of death of any individual who dies while in temporary accommodation arranged by the council or a Housing First tenancy. This information should be promptly reviewed in order to identify any trends in need of action by the local authority.

  •  Cities and regions with high levels of rough sleeping should introduce a similar recording system of the rough sleeping population as used in London (CHAIN). 

  • Government, councils and Health & Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) to work together to ensure there is drug, alcohol and mental health support available evenings and weekends in all local authority areas.

  • Drug and alcohol policy should be treated predominantly as a public health issue. 

  • People housed in temporary accommodation to be prioritised in receiving specialist support for substance use and mental health.

  • People in Housing First tenancies to be prioritised in receiving specialist support for substance use and mental health. 

  • No individual, especially if they are experiencing homelessness, should be denied mental health support on the basis that they are using drugs or consuming alcohol. 

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Campaigning and policy

Working with decision makers to ensure the views of vulnerable people are heard.