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Mental Health Services: Sleeping Rough

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 33687, tabled on 23 March 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support rough sleepers with (a) drug and alcohol addiction and (b) mental health problems.

Answered on

31 March 2020

The Government recognises that many people who are sleeping rough have mental health issues and suffer disproportionate harms from drugs and alcohol misuse. The Government has committed to end rough sleeping by the end of this term of Parliament.

To support this commitment the Government has announced £262 million of funding over four years for substance misuse treatment and recovery services for people experiencing rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping.

Guidance to support commissioners and providers of services for people who use drugs and alcohol during the COVID-19 pandemic is being developed and will be issued shortly.

The Department is also providing £2 million in funding to test ways to improve access to health services for people with co-occurring mental ill-health and substance misuse problems who are currently, or at risk of returning to, sleeping rough. This builds on the commitment already made in the NHS Long Term Plan to spend up to £30 million over five years on mental health services for rough sleepers.