Young homeless people are developing serious health problems
because agencies fail to offer a multi-disciplinary approach,
according to a new report.
The Foyer Federation, which provides accommodation and support
for young homeless people, has called for a more effective
partnership between agencies ahead of the government’s
consultation on addressing health inequalities.
The need for a multi-disciplinary approach is demonstrated by
research showing that a fifth of its residents have some form of
mental health problem, nearly 40 per cent drink excessively and 70
per cent are smokers.
Carolyn Hayman, chief executive of the Foyer Federation, said
there is a need for an holistic approach to when dealing with young
people instead of having specialists dealing with mental heath,
substance misuse and sexual health issues.
“This could be achieved by introducing multi-skilled health
professionals into front-line facilities like ‘foyers’,
or through better partnerships between agencies with the necessary
skills,” she said.
Multi-skilled staff have already been introduced to some of the
charity’s 106 foyers which provide accommodation for 5,000
people a year.
The report also highlights examples of partnerships between
agencies such as health action zones, community mental health
teams, GPs and dentists.
* The Health Partnership Guide from www.foyer.net