Having a place to call home is key to recovery from mental health and addictions issues. That’s the message CMHA Ontario is sharing with their community on National Housing Day on November 22.
With 1.7 million people in need of housing across Canada, National Housing Day calls on the need for safe and affordable housing for all Canadians. For people with mental illness or addictions, supportive housing can provide stable foundation. This can take various forms, from Housing First with optional supports, to dedicated high-support apartment buildings.
Supportive housing provides an anchor for life. Research indicates that having a place to call home means a better quality of life and success in education and work. It improves outcomes from even severe mental health and addictions problems. Supportive housing can also decrease problematic drug and alcohol use and it has the potential to improve physical health and social inclusion.
That’s why supportive housing is consistently identified as one of the top priorities by our local CMHA branches. Provincewide, CMHAs provide about 30 per cent of all the mental health supportive housing units and nearly 20 per cent of the total residential addiction support.
Evidence from the nationwide housing-first demonstration project, At Home/Chez Soi, found that $10 invested in housing-first services resulted in an average reduction in costs of other services of $9.60 for high-needs participants and $3.42 for moderate-needs participants. Over a two-year period, every $10 invested in housing-first services resulted in an average savings of $21.72.
Visit ontario.cmha.ca/housing to learn more about the importance of housing for mental health.