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2011 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Major CAMH-led Study Finds over 500,000 People with Mental Illness Inadequately Housed in Canada

As many as 520,000 people with mental illness across Canada are inadequately housed, including 119,000 who are homeless, a new study led by CAMH’s Community Support and Research Unit (CSRU) and the Canadian Council on Social Development has found.

Released by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), the study details the current housing and community support needs of people living with mental health problems in Canada.

The three-year project involved  1,000 stakeholders from across the country through reference groups, interviews, questionnaires, webinars, and site visits.

The report finds that limited housing stock, long waiting lists, and inadequate housing options have forced hundreds of thousands of people with mental illness into inappropriate housing situations.  The project constructed comprehensive maps of the existing housing and related supports for each province and territory.

The study makes a clear case for the need for more housing for people with mental health issues, and recommends that the MHCC work with the reference groups set up through this project, regional health authorities, and provincial and territorial governments to use the report’s findings to develop plans to increase the supply of mental health housing and supports across the country.

The research team is now engaged in knowledge exchange activities to build upon the momentum created by the project, and to ensure that this research becomes a catalyst for action.
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